Vettel: I nonetheless have “a very long time in me” and I can win a fifth title · RaceFans


Sebastian Vettel says he may compete in System 1 for a lot of extra years to return in pursuit of a fifth world championship title.

Heading into his 14th full season as a System 1 driver, Vettel has joined the rebranded Aston Martin crew following a bruising 2020 marketing campaign at Ferrari.

Vettel was comprehensively out-performed by crew mate Charles Leclerc over the course of final season. Earlier than the championship had even begun, Ferrari had confirmed they might not retain Vettel’s providers for this yr.

It introduced Vettel’s six-year stint on the crew to an unsatisfactory conclusion. He joined them in 2015 having gained 4 world championships for Pink Bull. Now 33, Vettel stays satisfied that, given the best alternative, he can win a fifth.

“Clearly I’m not too previous,” he mentioned on the launch of Aston Martin’s new System 1 automobile final week, nodding in the direction of two-times world champion Fernando Alonso’s impending return with Alpine. “I imply, there may be now older drivers becoming a member of the grid, quite than youthful drivers. You’ve acquired Mick [Schumacher] as effectively so he brings some new blood.

Vettel’s remaining yr at Ferrari was not a cheerful one

” [But] I don’t assume it’s an age factor. I feel it’s extra a query of, do you could have the automobile and the crew round you?

“Clearly System 1 has been like this for so long as I can bear in mind and doubtless earlier than. It’s not a secret, clearly, within the final years you wanted to be in a Mercedes to essentially struggle for the championship. I feel we acquired shut at occasions with Ferrari however by no means actually shut sufficient to have a say within the final two or three races.”

Vettel has exchanged one among System 1’s largest and wealthiest groups for a smaller operation, albeit one which has benefited from the money injection which adopted Lawrence Stroll’s 2018 takeover. He already seems to be thriving in his new environment.

“Final yr it’s not a secret I used to be not at my happiest,” Vettel admits. “So this yr I’m very a lot wanting ahead.

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Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin, Silverstone, 2021
Aston Martin is Vettel’s new residence for 2021

“It’s a terrific group of individuals. The spirit is nice, very enthusiastic. It’s clearly very small if you happen to evaluate it to Ferrari at first. However a part of it’s clearly the truth that we aren’t constructing the engine and one other a part of it’s that the crew remains to be rising, so just about the alternative to many of the different huge groups and clearly the crew I raced for earlier than.

“So issues are a bit completely different. But it surely’s not in regards to the fancy seems to be or the flamboyant, costly designer chairs within the workplace. It’s in regards to the work achieved behind the scenes. [From] what I’ve seen I feel the individuals are very succesful, very proficient. It’s in all probability the primary time within the crew’s historical past for the final one and a half, two years that they’re getting the oxygen to breathe.”

Stroll’s eagerness to have the ex-Ferrari driver on the wheel of his ‘British Ferrari’ might be gauged by the face he moved incumbent Sergio Perez apart, regardless of having signed a brand new three-year cope with the crew’s long-standing driver in 2019.

For Vettel, an Aston Martin is probably not the Mercedes drive that each competitor covets, but it surely may very well be the next-closest factor. The crew has made no secret of its technique to mannequin its machine on the all-conquering black vehicles. Vettel’s transfer additionally implies that, for the primary time within the V6 hybrid turbo period, he has Mercedes energy beneath his proper foot.

Pointing to the success Mercedes has loved over the previous seven years, Vettel acknowledged a long-term dedication is important “if you happen to actually need to win”.

“In case you have a look at Mercedes, they began someplace in 2011-12 after which actually acquired into the profitable methods with the brand new energy unit the place they simply acquired out of the gates loads sooner than anybody else,” he explains.

“However the automobile wasn’t actually that nice in 2014, chassis-wise. And from then onwards – I ought to say [from] ’11 – then it took them one other 5 years to essentially construct a automobile that was additionally thought-about in all probability the most effective chassis. In order that’s the time it takes.

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“However then everyone has that point and never everyone has achieved the job. So there’s a whole lot of tasks going round, completely different producers and in the long run just one can win however Mercedes has been the one which’s been the strongest. So hats off to them. The others had been simply not ok.”

Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin, Silverstone, 2021
“I nonetheless have a very long time in me”

Aston Martin CEO Otmar Szafnauer mentioned the crew is unlikely to be in championship competition for 3 to 5 years. May a buyer crew ever beat their producer provider to the title? That hasn’t regarded like a sensible prospect so far as Mercedes are involved over the V6 hybrid turbo period to date.

However Vettel is optimistic which will change after F1’s new technical rules come into power subsequent yr.

“Clearly System 1 [is] altering on the identical time. Time will inform, however possibly you don’t want these three-to-five years anymore. Possibly it’ll shrink.

“That’s the hope, I feel, for everybody to be a bit nearer to the highest. Not simply be on the rostrum since you acquired fortunate that the blokes within the entrance retired or crashed, however this time for actual. So we’ll see how System 1 modifications within the subsequent years.”

It’s that, quite than Vettel’s age, which he believes will decide whether or not he will get the possibility to struggle for a fifth world championship.

“Age-wise, I feel I nonetheless have a very long time in me,” he says. “It relies upon in all honesty somewhat bit the circumstances of how issues are going within the close to future.”

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