Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Hungaroring, 2020

Official: Vettel to replace Perez at Aston Martin’s F1 team for 2021

2021 F1 season

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Sebastian Vettel will join Aston Martin for their first Formula 1 season next year, following his departure from Ferrari.

His multi-year deal to drive for the team was confirmed by Racing Point, which will be rebranded as Aston Martin in 2021. Vettel will take the place of Sergio Perez, who had signed a three-year deal with the team last year, but confirmed yesterday he will split from them after this season.

The news comes four months after Vettel confirmed his seventh season with Ferrari this year will be his last.

“I am pleased to finally share this exciting news about my future,” said the four-times world champion. “I’m extremely proud to say that I will become an Aston Martin driver in 2021. It’s a new adventure for me with a truly legendary car company.”

Racing Point lie fourth in the constructors’ championship, two places ahead of Ferrari. The team has made significant strides since it was rescued from administration in mid-2018 by Lawrence Stroll.

“I have been impressed with the results the team has achieved this year and I believe the future looks even brighter,” said Vettel.

“The energy and commitment of Lawrence to the sport is inspiring and I believe we can build something very special together. I still have so much love for Formula 1 and my only motivation is to race at the front of the grid. To do so with Aston Martin will be a huge privilege.”

Racing Point CEO Otmar Szafnauer said the team is “hugely excited by this news”.

“Sebastian is a proven champion and brings a winning mentality that matches our own ambitions for the future as Aston Martin F1 team. On a Saturday or Sunday afternoon, Sebastian is one of the best in the world, and I can’t think of a better driver to help take us into this new era. He will play a significant role in taking this team to the next level.”

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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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93 comments on “Official: Vettel to replace Perez at Aston Martin’s F1 team for 2021”

  1. It’s officially official… 🥱

    Betting Perez is wishing he never pulled the pin on Force India now. Can’t wait to see Stroll alongside Vettel, I’m sure he’ll be very competitive all by his own doing…

    1. Balanced line-up, I presume. Elder multiple world champion alongside much younger podium finisher.
      The move was made few months ago, but shuffles up F1 panorama.

  2. I really don’t see why Seb is bothering, currently a better option than Ferrari but he’s not going to be able to win in that pink panther when up against the mighty Merc or fizzy wonder.

    1. @9chris9 Tell that to Pierre Gasly.

      1. @mashiat
        Impressive race by Gasly, he had the measure of the pink panther and McLaren, but we all know he lucked in to that opportunity by Merc not understanding the pit lane closed instruction quick enough.

        Seb in the pink panther likely wouldn’t have made the mistake stroll did at the restart, not sure he would have kept Sainz at bay without smashing into him.

        1. The only thing Gasly did that was impressive was the amount of luck he suddenly found himself in.
          Just lucky nothing more.

          1. He kept a calm head under immense pressure. That’s more than we can say about Seb of late

    2. If Vettel had be driving Stroll’s car in Italy last weekend, I’m pretty sure he would’ve won that race over Gasly and Sainz and not dropped back and passively drove it to third, never posing a threat for the win, tbh.

      So I wouldn’t say he can’t be driving for podiums and occasional wins once he breaks free from Ferrari in that car.

      1. good point there @aiii. I think a motivated Vettel in the current RP – which will still be the more or less the same very decent car next year, can have a shot at regular podium chances, dicing with the likes of Alonso in Renault, Ricciardo and Norris at McLaren, and the second Red Bull, as well as Bottas on some weekends and Verstappen on others.

        1. If the AMR will be a lightly modified 2020 machine, everyone else would have moved on. McLaren are already looking good with the Renault pu, they will be much better with the amg up next year, Alpha Tauri are looking good with that Honda PU.

          It’s hard in the midfield and Fi/tRP have dominated it the last few years, McLaren & Renault want to bust above it going for wins. FI is one of my favourite teams and I will likely cry when they get that win but they are not in the same league as the top 3. Will be awesome if that is where Stroll is taking them though.

          1. Its a big assumption that McLaren will be much better with the Mercedes PU… chassis integration is famously tricky, and they may have to run conservative cooling while they learn the behaviour of the PU.

            Having said that I hope they smash it out the park from race 1!

      2. @aiii Or he could just as likely have spun off

    3. Well next year it will be racing green, so should be faster 😉
      He’ll at least be regularly faster than the Ferraris next year, so it will sit well for his narrative for at least one year before new rules / new cars.

      This deal was obvious from the moment Ferrari announced that they would be dropping him. Just a shame that Perez loses out, but we all anticipated it.
      When better than immediately after a Stroll podium to confirm it?

    4. His motivation next year will simply be to beat Ferrari. Consistently. And that his quite likely.

      Seb’s knowledge about setup and strategy will also be invaluable to AM.

  3. Checo
    2015: One-year deal
    2016: One-year deal
    2017: One-year deal
    2018: One-year deal
    2019: Three-year deal
    2020: Tough luck

    1. Lol. The value of a contract can be less than the paper its written on

      1. It’s all business, when force India broke Vijay Mallya was already negotiating with Lawrence stroll for sponsorship and even a buy in, yes FI was bought into administration with the help of Sergio perez but that made Lawrence strolls work only easier, he bought fi including paying off its debts, so it would look like Sergio helping fi secure it’s future by taking into administration but in reality it only fastened it to change ownership, so it’s purely business master stoke by stroll senior. Just that Sergio perez failed to see it and his sheer bad luck with ferrari dumping Vettel which prompted stroll senior to gobble up vettel.

    2. Lol.
      Probably got a decent pay off though.

      1. His sponsors did, I’m sure.

      2. I hope so

      3. I would expect his contract to contain an early termination clause, which presumably would come out of the budget that’s paying Sebastian. The question is what is in it for Checo? I would expect a seat somewhere else in F1.

        1. None of the available seats are an upgrade or even sidegrade to RP/AM seat. If anything Vettel is getting an upgrade compared to current Donkey cart.

          1. It is an upgrade for Sebastian based on current form, and a change of atmosphere. Also it’s a chance to step away from a team which was accused of cheating last year.
            There’s currently two seats which one could consider as an upgrade: Mercedes and Red Bull. Both have an uncontracted seat. I’m not sure why there’s been a delay in announcing Lewis has signed for Mercedes, but the most obvious reason is he hasn’t.

    3. LOL! They should use napkins for some of these contracts instead of wasting real paper.

    4. Look Perez has accomplished more than he probably should have. The list of his signings reflects barely staying in Formula One at all I believe one way or another RP would HAVE to pull the trigger on Seb.
      In the end Perez with Vettle would have become a stronger pair than what they start the Next season with.
      It’s all about money….and Perez takes another one in the rear end.

    5. If I remember correctly, Vijay Mallya had a policy of one year only signings, and doing it late in the year.

      Must be a right kick on the balls thought to finally get contract security only for it to be break claused.

  4. Worst kept secret in F1?


    I feel this will be mutually beneficial. Seb gets a fresh start, and frankly needs to prove himself again I feel. Sure, 4 time WDC and all, however, his performances in the last few years have pretty much cast a lot of doubt in his ability. He will be under a lot less pressure, so lets hope he can reach is best levels.

    For Aston Martin and Stroll, a 4 time champ adds credibility to their endeavour.

    1. @jaymenon10 There have been far worse kept secrets. Alonso to McHonda not being announced till December even though everyone pretty much knew since September (and the former King of Spain even said so by accident in Abu Dhabi). Stroll joining Racing Point for 2019, or Montoya joining McLaren in 2005 are also some of the worst kept secrets. This is just off the top of my head, so I’m probably forgetting a lot of obvious ones.

      1. Tyrrell team and an engine deal was one. Honda IIRC…

    2. I think Seb will be under less pressure at Aston Martin than he is and has been at Ferrari. He doesn’t have to win the championship with Aston Martin, and he doesn’t really need to prove anything to anyone anymore.

  5. It’s offical Vettel released the news himself.

  6. Can’t wait to see the spinning Aston Martin. At least it will get good camera time for the sponsors.

    1. Should Vettel be worried. He got a multi year deal but it did not mean anything for Perez. Perez will probably and up at Haas on a multi year deal.

      1. Yeah, Grosjean & Kmag should be worried.

    2. You beat me to this @dermechaniker. I was beginning to get tired of watching red car spin and now I get to see green car doing it. :-D

  7. I havent been eager to see the partnerships involving Lance and Sebastian…until now. Both are together. There is no Ericcson, so we may see automatic donuts from two drivers apart from Romain.
    I think it will finally be nice to see Lewis and Sebastian fight with the same engine. Might throw up some interesting situations in races should they start next to each other.

  8. I am happy for Vettel and Formula 1.

    Kinda like Gasly, pressure of a front running team and really fast young team-mate never suited Vettel.

    Ferrari slowly eroded the great parts of Seb Vettel. I predict in a more British environment, green overalls, Vettel will turn a new page in his book and perform better than now in every way.

    Enough for championship? Almost zero chance, but so were his chances last few years in Ferrari.

    If anything if he does really well at AM, he might move to Mercedes if Lewis decides to retire after 100th win and 8th WDC next year.

    1. I don’t think Lewis cares about getting a round number of wins at all. if he keeps winning, why would he leave?

      1. I wouldn’t be so sure. He’s “creating a masterpiece” after all.

    2. “in a more British environment”
      Is not the environment, Vettel needs to feel he is the Number One and the fastest, otherwise he is not able to perform at his best level.
      Happen already twice, in Red Bull with Ricciardo, in Ferrari with Leclerc

      1. Or can it be that he was simply slower than those two drivers?
        I do not know why so many people believe he is a fast driver. He is not among them.

        1. Indeed, ricciardo and leclerc were simply better.

        2. and Newey was the real driving force behind those Red Bulls in them days.

          1. Somehow Newey has not been able to recreate that!

            So when Hamilton and Mercedes wins we can attribute the success to Andy Cowell who created the Mercedes PU.

    3. @jureo Totatally agree except the Mercedes move. He will surely be rejuvenated and dish out some stellar performances. Will be fun to see.

  9. Thats it for me then aston marton racing point will be going no where slowly with stroll and vettel. Maybe im wrong though.

  10. I wonder if Stroll sr helped pay for this for his son to have chance at beating Vettel.

    1. I mean, he helped pay for the entire team to say afloat, so certainly

  11. Good news! would’ve hated seeing Seb leave while way less talented and bad drivers were still on the grid, this along with “Mclaren rising” will give me a reason to watch another snorefest merc domination season in 21.

    1. Looking at Vettel’s performance last few years, I’d argue against Vettel being any more talented than Perez who he’s replacing, but here we are.

  12. I’m happy for Seb, the next year’s Aston Martin is a good platform for him to get back to the lost positions and prove his doubters wrong. He’s a very intelligent, systematic driver and a British operation is exactly what he’s been missing in that Ferrari turmoil (2019 – present). Like some others in the comments, I too expect the AM car to suit him far better than the oversteering Ferrari and the team’s on the up, with the know-how from Mercedes they could be a serious outfit from 2022 onwards.

    1. It’s amazing how team is always at complete fault for Vettel’s failures whenever he has competent team mates.

      1. @rockgod Or that when he has a mediocre team mate and a great car, that Vettel is “arguably the best driver of the field”

  13. Perez to Formula E, Grosjean to Alfa, Hulk and Schumacher to Haas, Mag to Indy, Kimi to the icecream shop?

    1. Yeah, nobody is going to sign Grosjean over literally anyone else.

    2. Perez will first try Red Bull (Albon + Gasly in Alpha Tauri), of he really wants to rest in F1 other options are Haas (Perez + Magnussen), Alfa Romeo (Perez + Schumacher Jr.)

    3. Red Bull: Verstappen, Albon
      Alpha Tauri: Gasly, Tsunoda
      Alfa Romeo: Hulkenberg, Schumacher
      Haas: Magnussen, Perez.

      Would love to see Callum Illot in Haas, though.

      1. I think this is probably spot on, although Kimi might have something to say about it @pironitheprovocateur

        1. Yes, I definitely count on Kimi. And I would love to see him as a tutor for Mick Schumacher, it would be kind of symbolic and hearwarming to say at least. If he decides to stay, I hope Hulkenberg finds the seat, but I don’t give him a great chance outside Alfa Romeo since Haas didn’t sign him up when they could for this season. And Red Bull is a bit of an utopia.

  14. What a shock, never saw it coming.

  15. I think this was in the works from the moment Ferrari dropped Vettel. It’s a shame to see Perez go, who by all accounts is way better than Stroll, yet I get it because if I were Lawrence, I’ll want my son to race for my team, irrespective if what many may say. So Perez was always going to be the casualty in case Vettel joined A.M next year.
    I really hope that Perez will find a drive next season and the teams I see him in will be Haas or Williams, and to an extend Alpha Tauri if Kyvat doesn’t improve.

  16. AJ (@asleepatthewheel)
    10th September 2020, 9:18

    I don’t see how he’s any better than Perez judging by his recent performances. The only advantage AM would have is marketing value, and probably car setup expertise. Obviously daddy’s little boy gets to be coached by a 4x wdc.

    Hopefully this happens: Perez to RBR, with Albon and Gasly duking it out at AT for a 2022 seat, and Kvyat moving to reserve driver role. Guy deserves a fair shot at podiums after all that he’s done for Tracing Point, only to be dumped.

    1. True! Red bull should really stop limiting themselves to their own drivers, just get perez to red bull, so he finally gets his chance at a top team, since albon is a disaster, gasly was a disaster at red bull and kvyat was already measured (bit better).

      1. Pretty sure perez, while no competition for verstappen, should be able to perform at ricciardo level, making it finally 2 competitive drivers again.

  17. I am glad Seb has got a place on the grid next year. It would have been a shame to see a 4 time WDC dumped on the sidelines. This could work out very well for him as the RP/Aston Martin will probably turn out to be pretty competitive. They very likely to be fighting for a strong mid table position. With the doors to Merc and RBR closed it’s probably as good as it gets for him.

    Ferrari don’t seem to be going anywhere fast (no joke intended). Seb is probably leaving at an opportune time in view of their current traumas.

    I hope Sergio gets a drive in F1 though if that’s what he wants. Maybe he’ll move to a different series though.

  18. Is this a case of a previous champ having more marketing value than an actual in form driver?

    I can’t think of a previous champ who went off the boil and then switched teams to win.

    McLaren went off the boil for Hamilton and he switched to Merc to win
    Schumi’s return didn’t work out and he was consistently beaten by Rosberg
    Raikkonen came back and was never as sharp

    Alonso is a better bet as he arguably never dropped form (indycar excluded), it will be interesting to see both ex champs progress next year

    I guess the decision gets made when somebody decides what is the easiest sell to the board. Presumably the board aren’t F1 experts and aren’t really the people who should be making the call.

    1. Willem Cecchi (@)
      10th September 2020, 9:34

      Nikki Lauda?

      1. A short view to the past…

    2. wasnt raikkonen fighting for the championship with the lotus?

      1. Not really. Closest he came was 3rd in 2012, but he finished 74 points off the top. After 5 races he was 12 points off the top but after that the gap just got bigger.

    3. Alain Prost, post 1992 sabbatical?

    4. Schumacher was too old for current f1, just the age cost him 5-6 tenths, that’s ages in f1 terms. Mathematical models say his performance was in line with his first stint, just adding the performance loss due to age, and rosberg was better than we first gave him credit for.

      In general this should be a bad move considering how overestimated vettel is.

  19. Szafnauer on Wednesday: We [confirmed our drivers] two years ago. There is nothing to confirm. So Vettel is out? Vettel was never in.

    Szafnauer on Thursday: signs Sebastian Vettel

    1. (sorry, messed up the link)

    2. Maybe if people stopped asking teams and drivers about these things before the teams announce them, nobody would have to keep denying it until the actual announcement.

      1. I think there is a difference between not confirming anything, and outright lying, and Szafnauer is coming very close to latter here, in my opinion.
        I remember way back in 2012 when Perez was confirmed for McLaren, he was criticized by some of the media by lying about having talks with them in the months leading up to the deal (which Perez admitted to).

        1. When I’m an F1 driver (I’m 40 years old now, but there is still time), I always thought I would say that I had been talking to all the teams all the time, as a kind of tactical rebuff when asked this difficult question. Perez was a bit clumsy I seem to remember.

  20. I really want to like this Aston Martin team, but the nepotism is going to keep me away.

  21. inb4 pay driver criticism comments

  22. Wow. I’m glad to see Vettel isn’t retiring. It would have been a pretty sour note to retire on. I hope he finds some redemption with Aston Martin. It’s all but certain they will be performing better than Ferrari next year as well.

    It will be intriguing to see if he can get out of the considerable rut he has found himself in, making many truly unforced errors and recently being outpaced as well. I hope he goes out on a high and at least gets a few race wins for the technically new team.

  23. No brainer to secure Vettel.

    At the very least from a development perspective his input will be invaluable.

    Might even be some what of a mentor for Lance Stroll. Wouldn’t be surprised if that’s built into his contract.

    Vettel is beyond jaded at this point and needs a clean slate.

  24. Not really a justifiable move. I, like many others, am not convinced Seb is necessarily going to be an upgrade to Checo.

  25. Very glad. I really want to see what Vettel can do in the 2022 cars. I know Vettel is a good driver, partly because him and his countryman and team mate,Michael Schumacher have won the Race Of Champions many times for Germany in the past. In ROC you race in lots of different cars for anyone who did not know.

  26. So… Haas should now sign Perez and Hulkenberg and drop both K.Mag and Romain :)

  27. I expect Ferrari will start sharing even less about how the car works than they have been doing since they sacked him so the rest of the season will be really tough for him.
    I understand their behaviour though, AMR will be a direct competitor next year.

  28. Well they signed Vettel for 2 main reasons:
    1) Be a tutor/teacher of his son Lance.
    2) Leave him the development of the car and maximize setups to make car go in the right direction, because he knows how is to drive top cars.

    Well i don’t know if the thing is going to finish well… Look for example the case of Massa, which was forced to do the same role of tutor/teacher/developer. And how the relationship finished. It finished with disqualifications from Lance jr, saying Massa didn’t help him in all the time they shared team, and they fired Massa and change for a weaker driver.
    Perez actually is pretty good teammate, and he never has problems with their teammates, so in that respect Perez didn’t make any mistake in his relationship with Stroll, he didn’t even comply about the team orders, or team tactics all in favour of Stroll jr.
    I don’t know if Vettel will accept team orders and team tactics, when they give to him.
    I don’t know if Vettel will be a good teacher for his son Lance.
    I don’t know if Vettel will be able to enjoy an experience in a weaker team and with all this duties, he never had in Ferrari. Vettel looks like its a good teammate, nobody complains he is antisocial or doesn’t share his data, or his setups or whatever, looks like Vettel even helped lot of people like when he was in Redbull helping other people to progress. But also Vettel also had problems in relationships with other drivers like Webber, Leclerc, with crashes in the races.

    So we will see what happens with the situation, because if Stroll jr. isn’t happy with Vettel, he can call his daddy fast, and fire Vettel easily.
    Also isn’t a good thing to change a top team and be the star of the team, and arrive to a family team, which obvious preference for his son, and with your future hanging on the personal relation you have with his son.
    If his son complains you are out!

  29. Such a shame vettel coasting of his wdc taking seats away from deserving drivers

  30. “.. brings a winning mentality that matches our own ambitions …”
    Oh Otmar, how wrong you are.

  31. Good move for Aston Martin. Vettel is the best driver post Schumacher and before Hamilton.
    Good move for Vettel. Unfortunately his stay in the legendary Ferrari team did not give the expected result. Patience. Now another new stage begins and he will surely do very well and that does not mean that he will win races or championships immediately.
    Good move for formula 1. It would be a great loss if the second best driver on the grid and 4 times world champion did not continue racing.e for Aston Martin. Vettel is the best driver post Schumacher and prior

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