Aston Martin team principal Mike Krack has insisted that Sebastian Vettel’s current demeanour is not demonstrative of a driver that wants to leave.
Vettel has previously indicated that extending his deal with the team beyond this season is dependent on their performance this season and, going off performance alone, the picture does not look great.
The British side have scored points in only three of the opening seven rounds of the 2022 season, and it took four rounds for them to register any points at all, although both Vettel and team-mate Lance Stroll finished in the top 10 in Imola.
However, some of the handling problems that experienced at the start of the year appear to have been smoothed out, and the car that had “too many things wrong” with in Australia, in Vettel’s words, looks better than the one that was involved in four crashes between the two drivers during the Melbourne weekend.
The four-time world champion put on an overtaking clinic in Monaco last weekend on his way to the points, so there is clearly plenty left in the tank, and Krack affirms that, going by Vettel’s attitude away from the racetrack, he has a committed driver on his hands.
“If you see him in a debrief or on the phone, the way he gets involved – nobody drives like that who doesn’t want to drive,” said Krack.
“Nobody acts like that who doesn’t want to drive.”
The German praised his driver’s display last weekend, calling it a “top performance,” and he added that, particularly after they introduced their upgraded car in Barcelona, he wants to manifest an environment in which the 34-year-old can “use his talent” and extract results from the car.
Krack acknowledges the luxury of having a 53-time grand prix winner in his team, and is eager to keep hold of him going into the 2023 season.
“When you have someone like Sebastian, you have to try to keep him,” added the former BMW engineer.
“It’s a mixture of extreme driving quality, experience and a very positive person who helps us progress.
“We clearly have our way that we want to continue with Sebastian. we’ll see about everything else at a later date.”
Were Vettel to leave at the end of this year, Mick Schumacher has been touted as a possible replacement for him, and there are rumours that Haas are beginning to grow impatient at his expensive mistakes.
Further, he would be a good fit if German motoring giants Audi end up buying Lawrence Stroll’s team.
Krack commented that his compatriot is “having a difficult time” at present, but insisted that he does not “know enough about the details of his team and environment to judge.”
Vettel and Schumacher are notoriously good friends, for the most part due to the relationship the former Red Bull and Ferrari driver has with his father Michael, and he defended the younger German after the 23-year-old’s shunt last weekend, calling on the media to “leave him alone for a bit.”