Sebastian Vettel Rumored to Replace Sergio Perez at Aston Martin F1 in 2021
The opportunity to leap from his prancing horse to a pink panther couldn't come at a better time for the soon-to-be ex-Ferrari driver.
After being shown the door by Scuderia Ferrari, who didn't so much as offer him a contract extension, Sebastian Vettel is suddenly without a drive for the 2021 Formula 1 season. And with this year's game of musical chairs unfolding more quickly than usual, the number of open seats—competitive or otherwise—is dwindling fast. But Vettel may not be without a ride for next season, as one of the 2020 grid's most surprising teams, the sudden upstart Racing Point, has reportedly offered the German a contract for 2021.
Racing Point, which is set to become Aston Martin early next year, has according to Germany's Bild extended the offer to Vettel on the behalf of team owner Lawrence Stroll; father of the outfit's number two driver Lance Stroll. Given the blood ties between owner and driver, it is thought Vettel wouldn't replace Lance, and could instead displace the team's longtime lead driver Sergio Perez.
Since signing on with the team for the 2014 season, the Mexican driver has scored Racing Point and its predecessors a total of five podiums, brought crucial sponsorship dollars, and during the rocky transition out from under Vijay Mallya's ownership, triggered the legal processes that ultimately saved the team. Most recently, during this past weekend's Styrian Grand Prix, Perez put on a race-long overtaking show, taking the checkered flag 11 places ahead of where he qualified, and earning the Driver of the Day vote along with valuable championship points.
While Perez's history with the team, his management's close relationship with the Stroll family, and his contract through 2022 all give his team reason to retain him, Autosport reports the Mexican driver's contract has an exit clause that, if activated by July 31, could open the door for Vettel to take his seat next year. This all remains hypothetical, as one of the sources to originally break the story emphasized on Twitter that no signatures have yet been scratched, meaning the driver situation at Racing Point will remain stable... At least for the time being.
What will Vettel do?
Got a tip? Send us a note: firstname.lastname@example.org