What was F1’s worst kept secret has now been confirmed: Four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel has signed for Aston Martin Racing for the 2021 season and beyond.
Ever since Ferrari decided, before the 2020 season, that they will not extend Vettel’s contract, the German F1 racer has been heavily linked with Aston Martin as his next destination. The official announcement from the British Formula One outfit confirmed the long-drawn rumours.
“I’m extremely proud to say that I will become an Aston Martin driver in 2021,” Vettel said on Thursday. “It’s a new adventure for me with a truly legendary car company. I have been impressed with the results the team has achieved this year and I believe the future looks even brighter,” added the 33-year-old driver.
Vettel, who previously had stints at Sauber, Toro Rosso, Red Bull and Ferrari will replace Sergio Perez who announced on Wednesday that Racing Point, which will be renamed to Aston Martin from next season, would not renew his contract.
Carlos Sainz Jnr will be replacing Vettel at Ferrari while Carlos’ vacant seat at McLaren was quickly captured up by Australia’s Daniel Ricciardo.
Vettel will partner alongside Lance Stroll, son of Canadian billionaire owner, Lawrence Stroll who invested in the British brand. “The energy and commitment of (owner) Lawrence (Stroll) to the sport is inspiring and I believe we can build something very special together,” said Vettel, who had spent six seasons with Ferrari.
Despite Vettel’s poor performance over the past few years with Ferrari where he could not emulate his title-winning form at Red Bull, it was hard for F1 fans not to feel sorry for Vettel when Ferrari refused to renew his contract.
“I still have so much love for Formula 1 and my only motivation is to race at the front of the grid. To do so with Aston Martin will be a huge privilege,” said Vettel, who has third most F1 career victories (53), only behind Michael Schumacher (91) and Lewis Hamilton (89).