Sebastian Vettel’s move to Aston Martin Racing was generally well received in the F1 paddock, and it is arguably a great, logical move for both parties.
However, Dr Helmut Marko, a senior Red Bull advisor, has recently revealed that he advised Vettel to avoid making a rushed decision on his future and instead potentially wait for a vacancy at Mercedes or Red Bull in 2022.
“It was clear that Sebastian would have a difficult season with Ferrari,” Dr Marko told F1-Insider.com.
“I didn’t want him to act rashly, but to wait because it was clear to me that fundamental things would change in the driver market for 2022.
“For example, I was sure that there would be a vacancy at Mercedes then. But not only there. That also included Red Bull.
“I just wanted him to still be on the market at the right time so he could take the best possible offer.
“Above all, I didn’t want a four-time World Champion to say goodbye to Formula One like that. Not as a friend, and not as a Red Bull man,” he added.
Continuing, Dr Marko stressed that Red Bull didn’t offer Sebastian Vettel a seat for 2021 once it was announced that he would be leaving Ferrari as they believed they would be retaining Max Verstappen and Alex Albon.
“When Ferrari gave him notice, we had no place left for 2021. At the time, we firmly assumed that Alexander Albon would develop positively, so that he would also be able to drive alongside Max Verstappen in 2021. That’s what I told Sebastian.
“Unfortunately, we were wrong. When we had to act, Sebastian was no longer on the list because he had made a long-term commitment to Aston Martin.
“Therefore, Sergio Perez was the logical decision for us,” he explained.
Despite suggesting that taking a year out of F1 may have been a better move, Dr Marko admitted that he understands why Vettel opted to join the Aston Martin F1 Team.
“Aston Martin was very tempting. The name is cult, the close cooperation with Mercedes promised a sporting perspective.
“I can understand him, even if I personally would have waited,” he concluded.