Few sports can offer such action and drama despite being struck by the worldwide lockdown. But then wasn’t Formula 1 always a little different? It was only a few days ago when a big piece of news arrived from the often topsy turvy world suggesting Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer was tipped to be replaced.
Here was a team that seemed inclined to carry out major management changes.
Whether that means going to Red Bull – a team that currently has a strong driver pairing in Max Verstappen and Alexander Albon- isn’t known for certain. But it can be said that if there’s a sense to this Grand Prix grapevine then it may have a thing to do with the fact that in the past, Sebastian Vettel has raised four world championships with the Aston Martin Red Bull stable.
But then a question remains:
How did the talks surrounding Sebastian Vettel at Aston Martin kick up a storm?
Well, you probably guessed it! In a recent media interaction, Aston Martin stable’s important figurehead Helmut Marko shared his views with characteristic candour.
He was quoted as saying, “I have spoken to Sebastian and of course we went through the options at Red Bull, but unfortunately there are none.”
Now while this may sound immediately disappointing this is what Marko, a widely outspoken individual, and someone who’s a bit of a polarising figure would add further that rekindled some hope regarding Sebastian Vettel staying on in F1 for 2021:
“When I spoke to him, the message was that if he can join a winning team, he continues. Otherwise, not.”
So far, while a seat is taken for McLaren for the next season with Sainz swapping his for that widely-discussed drive at Ferrari (Vettel’s current team), it appears that there’s only one option left for the German.
And that’s to go to Renault, where, unless proven otherwise, a four-time world champion, a winner of over 50 Grands Prix will have at his disposal a machine that may be strong enough to become a midfielder.
That’s also if there’s further engineering improvement on the car than what we’ve already seen in the past season. With all due respect to Renault, while they are steadily and surely improving in their bid to finish higher up in the ‘best of the rest’ scuffle with others including Alfa Romeo, Toro Rosso and Haas, there are still touted to stay a backmarker.
With the added pressure of McLaren, who have, quite simply lifted their game several notches skyward (vis-a-vis the painfully disappointing runs in 2017 and 2018), garnering 145 (to Renault’s 91), it’ll make for an interesting contest to witness the mid-field fight in the coming races.
But having said that, make no mistake. At that stage of his career where Sebastian Vettel would want to certainly fight for podiums places, if not race wins, since Ferrari and Mercedes would be two prominent teams to counter (and let’s not take Max away from equation), would he really want to step into Renault?
Yet, it all of a sudden turns into an interesting tangle if you take into account what former Williams driver and current F1 pundit Ralf Schumacher has to say on the issue:
“There is the possibility that (Mercedes team principal and Aston Martin stakeholder) Toto Wolff, in combination with Lawrence Stroll, can offer him something.”
But you know what! This existential predicament doesn’t end there.
Well, where the paddock rumours are an indication, then former Ferrari driver and two-time world champion Fernando Alonso is already being linked to a Renault seat.
Should that actually happen, it’ll deal a damning blow to Vettel’s chances. And this, therefore, could lead to one straightforward direction- one of the modern era’s greats walking away from the grid for good unless a last minute miracle were to happen.
Let’s just say it- Sebastian Vettel’s fledgling career may perhaps need a divine intervention of sorts.