Journalist reveals Sebastian Vettel ‘never contacted’ Aston Martin, makes big Alpine claim

Sebastian Vettel retired from Formula 1 having made 299 GP starts.

Ahead of this weekend’s season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix, it has been revealed by Formula 1 reporter Alessandro Arcari that retired four-time World Champion Sebastian Vettel “never contacted” Aston Martin in regard to replacing Lance Stroll, who was a doubt for this weekend.

Following his “minor accident” whilst cycling in Spain, Stroll has been given the all clear to compete this weekend at the Bahrain International Circuit; however, he was a huge doubt earlier in the week.

Stroll was unable to take part in pre-season testing and was replaced by reserve driver Felipe Drugovich, who was later announced as Stroll’s replacement for the first race of the season should he be unfit.

Prior to the announcement, though, it was reported that Vettel had “offered his services” to Aston Martin, should Stroll be deemed as unfit.

READ: Aston Martin break silence on prospect of beating Red Bull and Ferrari

Arcari, though, has since revealed that no contact with Vettel ever took place, after being told exactly that by people inside the team.

Arcari was also told by members of the team that the AMR23 is “overvalued”, with Aston Martin having been tipped by many as a real podium contender this weekend.

Their race run on the final day of testing was exceptional, with it having been several tenths faster than Mercedes and on a par with Ferrari, hence why they’ve quickly been labelled as a podium candidate this weekend.

Double World Champion Fernando Alonso has also been praised by the team for being a “monster” when it comes to feeding back details about the car, with the Spaniard likely to be vital to Aston Martin’s progression this season.

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Interestingly, Arcari was also told that teams should be aware of Alpine, who Aston Martin are keeping a very close eye on, suggesting that the Enstone-based team perhaps have something remarkable in their locker come the start of the Bahrain GP.

“I’ve talked to whoever is inside AstonMartin,” wrote Arcari on Twitter.

“1) Vettel never contacted to replace Stroll.

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“) AM23 is over-rated.

“3) Alonso a monster in the details.

“3) Watch out for #Alpine In the next few hours, a piece with details of course on @FUnoAT.”