Dr Helmut Marko, a senior Red Bull advisor, recently suggested that Sebastian Vettel made a mistake by joining the Aston Martin F1 Team and said he believes he should have taken a year out to wait for a potential vacancy at Red Bull or Mercedes in 2022.
“It was clear that Sebastian would have a difficult season with Ferrari,” Dr Marko told F1-Insider.com this month.
“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,” Dr Marko added.
And now, the Austrian has said he believes Sebastian Vettel won’t be “dangerous” to Red Bull in 2021 even if he brings his A-game to every grand prix.
“I hope he finds his old form again. He knows himself that the last two years were not his best. For whatever reason,” Marko said this week.
“But I don’t think he can be dangerous to us. In 2020 his new team was too far away from us for that. And that’s despite the fact that [Sergio] Perez was extremely strong, especially in the second half of the season.
“Even if Sebastian is in top form every race, as a driver he can’t make up for the gap the team had on us. But maybe I’m wrong,” Dr Marko concluded.
Earlier this month, Aston Martin F1 Team owner Lawrence Stroll said he doesn’t believe that they will be able to fight Mercedes next season, though they have a chance of giving any front-running team a “run for their money” in 2022 once the new regulations come into effect.