Outgoing Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel will sign a contract for 2021 with Racing Point at the upcoming Belgian Grand Prix, according to reports from Italy.
The Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper claims that Racing Point, which will be re-branded Aston Martin Racing next season, has already offered Vettel a $15 million contract which he will sign later this month.
At the moment, Racing Point is seemingly the best option available to Vettel for 2021, with very few competitive drives available elsewhere on the grid.
Ferrari and the four-time World Champion agreed to part ways prior to the start of the delayed 2020 F1 season, and he has been strongly linked with Racing Point in recent months.
Both of their current drivers – Lance Stroll and Sergio Perez – have contracts which cover the 2021 season, but it nevertheless remains likely that Vettel will join the team next season.
Due to Lance Stroll’s father, Lawrence Stroll, heading up the consortium of investors which owns the team and Aston Martin, it’s unlikely that Lance would be forced to give way for Vettel.
Instead, Perez could be forced out despite him generally outperforming Stroll on the track and bringing a considerable amount of funding to the team via Mexican sponsorship deals.
Some of his sponsors are offering up more money in a bid to help the Mexican driver retain his place on the grid, according to reports.
Despite all of the circulating rumours linking Vettel to the team, Perez said at the Spanish Grand Prix that his Racing Point seat “seems safe” for 2021.
“I can’t do anything about the rumours about Vettel,” he said. “The team has told me that we want to continue. My place seems safe.”
Inspired by Mercedes’ 2019 car, Racing Point have developed a very competitive package which has been the subject of controversy ever since it was unveiled.
They are currently third in the Constructors’ Championship after accruing 63 points from the first six rounds of the revised 2020 season.
The FIA recently docked the team 15 Constructors’ Championship points after it determined that the brake ducts on their RP20 F1 car were developed illegally.
The Lawrence Stroll-owned outfit was also fined €400,000. Its drivers weren’t deducted any points.
Racing Point swiftly appealed the ruling while a few other F1 teams also filed appeals, arguing that the team shouldn’t be allowed to continue to compete in the remainder of the season with the illegally developed brake ducts.
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