Aston Martin team principal Mike Krack has reiterated that there is no rush for Sebastian Vettel to agree a new contract with the team.
The four-time world champion’s deal expires at the end of this season, and there are fears that he may decide to retire and walk away from Formula 1 when that happens.
Krack has previously been very open about the fact that he would like his compatriot to stay, but he does not want to rush the 35-year-old, with whom he shares a close bond having briefly worked with him at BMW Sauber in 2007.
“We have a very good relationship with Sebastian so we don’t want to set a deadline,” he told Sport1.
“He knows our opinion; he knows we definitely want to continue with him.
“There are talks in which we basically exchange ideas about how we can imagine a future together, we take our time with it.
“Of course, at some point you have to make a decision. I don’t have the feeling he’s playing for time, but says it immediately when he’s clear about his future.
“I think after the summer break is the time when you can and have to be more concrete. Until then, we don’t have a plan B either.”
Dan Fallows joined Aston Martin as technical director over the winter following the departure of team principal Otmar Szafnauer – whose role Krack now fills – and they have the experience of chief technical officer Andy Green and CEO Martin Whitmarsh to call upon too.
The personnel appear to be there for the British side, but results on track are not showing a team capable of achieving owner Lawrence Stroll’s championship ambitions at the moment.
Positive steps, however, are being taken towards that.
“I’m not a fan of calling him [Vettel] every day and going on and on about what we’ve just done,” explained Krack.
“We have to convince him with the progress and results on the racetrack. Unfortunately, they are lacking, in reality at the moment.
“We just have to keep working very hard to make him feel things are going in the right direction.
“We also have new people in the team who can make a difference in the future. For example,
“Sebastian knows him and knows his abilities, as I said, we have to let actions speak, not words!”
Fernando Alonso and Mick Schumacher, who themselves are out of contract at Alpine and Haas respectively at the end of this term, have been linked with Vettel’s seat should he leave.
However, Krack is fully focused on making sure the 35-year-old stays around.
“We don’t talk about potential successors neither with him [Schumacher], nor with others, because we want Sebastian to stay with us,” he stated.
Vettel and team-mate Lance Stroll have managed seven points finishes between them this season, and the Silverstone-based team sit ninth in the Constructors’ Standings, ahead only of Williams.