Sebastian Vettel, Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Red Bull Ring, 2020

Vettel return to Red Bull is up to Mateschitz – Tost

2020 F1 season

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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.

Vettel, who will leave Ferrari at the end of the year, 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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Author information

Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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13 comments on “Vettel return to Red Bull is up to Mateschitz – Tost”

  1. Max and Vettel i don’t think Vettel is happy about that because Max certainly doesn’t care…

  2. What is it with this obsession for people to try put him back to a team, which isn’t realistic given Red Bull’s long tradition that dates back some 13 years? It’s Either Albon, Gasly, or Kvyat in the 2nd RBR next year.

    1. Agreed, Vettle couldn’t beat Riccardo in the same car, then just beat an old (past his prime) Raikonnen, then lost to Charles….. Ferrari have wasted their time (2018/2019 prime) on him (now they have poor engines). Red bull ain’t going to go with him, they will laugh at the suggestion. Vettle will retire, because Renault wont even bother him, he is not part of their next title, they would get more value trying to find the next Daniel/Max/Charles/Russel/Lando. IMO (he might get a drive if he has a paid Williams seat)…..

  3. Albon is doing a brilliant job, has tons of potential and probably on 1/10th of the salary that Vettel would demand – It makes zero sense for Seb to return!

  4. I think Vettel would bite RB’s arm off down to the ankle to have a chance to go back. They could spin it as Renault were to blame for him leaving in the first place.

    There doesn’t seem to be much choice otherwise: Championship winning drivers joining mid-field teams don’t go so well; ask Damon Hill. Would Vettel be making the same choice of joining a newly taken over team & being paired with a “rabbit”? Does he want to spend his life flying around the world to finish 4th or 5th? Alonso clearly does.

  5. James Norris
    10th July 2020, 9:07

    I really hope Albon keeps his place, I can’t stand to see another young’uns career washed down the drain. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want Seb to leave, but stick him in an Aston and let Lawrence buy Williams so Lil’ Lance gets a drive.

    1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      10th July 2020, 13:48

      For Albon to keep his place the following things need to happen:

      – He needs to qualify within 2/10ths on average compared to Max outqualifying in at least 1-2 races
      – He needs to score a good chunk of points (60%-70%)
      – He needs to score at least a few podiums and a win would definitely help him massively
      – He needs to be able to put Max under attack in a few races on pace
      – He needs to avoid collisions when the stars align and pressure is at 1000%

      If he checks all those boxes, then he’ll keep his spot. This season was going to be the make or break season for Albon. He’s definitely racing for his life. Huge shame, he couldn’t position the car properly in the 2 most critical races of his life. LeClerc showing him the correct overtake by going wide on Norris and twitching twice did not help him either. I’m sure Horner has made him watch the footage of the Ferrari versus the Red Bull at least 1000 times now…

  6. It seems logical for Vet to move on (Le Mans, Indy, whatever) …but then….not so logic for Alo to come back, so its difficult to predict since fans and cars owners think quiet differently….Definitely, as mentioned above, I’d love to see young racers who give 1000% and are cheaper!

  7. I think Seb’s best opportunity for a decent drive now seems to lie with Aston Martin. I could see him going there and I can see why they might want him.

    Of course Racing Point already have two drivers. I could see Seb and Sergio forming what would look like a very strong team. Then I am sure either Alfa Romeo, Haas or Williams might be persuaded to give a seat to Lance Stroll if this was backed by a decent chunk of his father’s cash. Or even Sergio if he really wanted to keep Lance in place.

    1. @phil-f1-21

      I thought the whole point of Papa stroll buying a team was that baby Lance can trundle around on the circuit without the fear of losing a drive due to underperformance. Doesn’t make sense to invest money in a team so that your son gets a drive, and then pay another team to take Lance off his hands.

      1. Indeed, stroll won’t leave, that leaves perez, and taking vettel is silly, doesn’t seem like a good idea.

  8. I don’t see the value for RBR in hiring him while they have Verstappen as he’s not quicker than him and Vettel isn’t a team player as shown throughout his career. I’m sure he’d be quicker than Albon, Gasly or Kvyat but RBR only need a second driver good enough to deliver what the car is capable of and Albon seems like he might fit that bill for a fraction of the cost and is clearly a team player and a positive guy around the garage at the moment.

    I don’t see Stroll getting dropped and Perez is contracted so that’s Racing Point out of the equation.

    I think Mercedes next driver will be Russell and while Vettel might work as a big name alongside him, I fancy Mercedes to extend Hamilton for 2 years and bring in Russell alongside him and release Bottas. That will provide them a smooth transition to their next star driver and give Hamilton another year in a championship car and the potential to develop a whole new car for them for 2022.

    Unless Albon keeps getting involved in accidents then I can see him still at RBR for the foprsseable future and Verstappen will be kept at all costs for them.

    Alpha Tauri makes no sense for Red Bulls young driver scheme and isn’t going to really provide any benefit other than maybe deliver a few more points. Also I can’t see Vetttel seeing it as any opportunity to further his career in the future either.

    Ferrari don’t want him anymore.

    Williams just aren’t fast enough but might be worth a gamble if he wants to just stay involved next year and the rule changes may move them up the grid a bit. It’s better to be on the grid than away from it as you quickly fall off the radar where as all it takes is a few plucky over performances in a bad car to keep you in the spotlight.

    Alfa Romeo I’m sure would love him to go there but would he want to maintain any Ferrari ties and they’re not exactly looking like they’re moving in the right direction. He would still be a better option than Kimi for them but the second seat will always be used for Ferrari young drivers.

    Haas is as above really, still got Ferrari ties and they’re not trending upwards. Might be okay for a holding year but the salary would be an issue.

    McLaren look to have a very good partnership tied up for the forseeable future. I do wonder if McLaren even considered Vettel or whether they made the shout on Ricciardo based on age and their performances together in 2014. I think McLaren made the right decision for them though.

    Renault would have been an option right up until they signed Alonso. It would be a mighty partnership to have both of them there but I don’t see it happening as they’re two very big personalities to have under one stable.

    All in all the opportunities for Vettel seem very limited. I guess his only big hope is Hamilton somehow harpoons his own Mercedes deal and he lucks into his seat.

  9. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    10th July 2020, 14:56

    How crazy has this world gone that I now find myself having to defend Vettel?

    If you look at his career stats, he puts to shame Fernando Alonso

Comments are closed.