A return to Red Bull for Sebastian Vettel would be a matter for team owner Dietrich Mateschitz to decide, AlphaTauri team principal Franz Tost told RaceFans.said yesterday he would respond positively to an approach from his former team, who he won four world championships with between 2010 and 2013. Both he and Red Bull are yet to win another title since.
The 33-year-old remains on good terms with his former team and was photographed talking to some of its senior staff members last week, in violation of F1’s Covid-19 protocols.
Red Bull motorsport consultant Helmut Marko has played down the possibility of Vettel rejoining the team. However Tost, who runs Red Bull’s junior team AlphaTauri, told RaceFans in an exclusive interview “at the end this is a decision for Dietrich Mateschitz.”
The 76-year-old multi-billionaire co-owns the Red Bull drinks brand. As well as owning two teams and the Red Bull Ring, where the first two races of the 2020 F1 season are being held, Mateschitz’s Servus TV channel was announced this week as Austria’s new broadcaster of the sport.
AlphaTauri was known as Toro Rosso from 2006 until the end of last year. But despite the change of identity, and the fact both drivers Daniil Kvyat and Pierre Gasly have already raced for Red Bull, Tost said the team continues to serve what he previously described as a “kindergarten” role for the senior team.
“Nothing has changed from this point of view,” he said. “We are still educating young drivers for Red Bull Racing.”
Red Bull’s Junior Team now features Yuki Tsunoda and Jehan Daruvala in Formula 2 plus Formula 3 racers Jack Doohan, Igor Fraga, Dennis Hauger and Liam Lawson. The team has also placed Yuri Vips in Japanese Super Formula and Jak Crawford and Jonny Edgar in Formula 4.
Tost said it is too early to judge which are best-placed to reach Formula 1 in the future. “There are a couple of drivers in Formula 3, in Formula 2, also in the Japanese Super Formula championship,” he said.
“It’s difficult to say currently, because we have only had one race weekend with Formula 3 and Formula 2. We must wait for another couple of race weekends.”
Asked whether a role could be found for Vettel to mentor Red Bull’s next generation of younger drivers, Tost said: “As far as I’m informed, this is currently not in discussion.”
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