Sebastian Vettel isn’t going into retirement just yet after signing on for the 2021 season and beyond.
After his bombshell departure from Ferrari rocked the paddock earlier in the year, rumours floated the German superstar could step away from the grid for good.
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But he’s put those thoughts to bed after links to Racing Point, who will be renamed Aston Martin Racing from next season, continued to grow.
On Thursday afternoon the news became official with Vettel signing on the dotted line to partner Lance Stroll.
“I am pleased to finally share this exciting news about my future,” Vettel said in a statement.
“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.
“I have been impressed with the results the team has achieved this year and I believe the future looks even brighter.
“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.”
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BREAKING: Sebastian Vettel signs for Aston Martin for 2021 and beyond #F1 pic.twitter.com/z2ZmvVxNmE
Vettel’s signing comes after current Racing Point driver Sergio Perez announced he would be departing the team at season’s end.
The move opened the door for the team to sign Vettel who has endured a nightmare behind the wheel of his Ferrari in his final season.
Racing Point/Aston Martin team boss Otmar Szafnauer was elated with the signing of Vettel and what the pairing of him and Stroll could become.
“Everybody at Silverstone 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,” he said.
“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.”
The timing of the announcement caught fans by surprise with Ferrari set to celebrate a milestone 1000th Grand Prix this weekend in Tuscan.
That is a rather wonderful two-fingers up at Ferrari from Vettel. He could have announced this anytime, but it's been done on the eve of the Tuscan GP to celebrate Ferrari's 1,000th GP.
Vettel news announced on the eve of Ferrari's 1000th race at a circuit Ferrari owns. Gotta love it.
Vettel’s 2020 season has slumped from disaster to disaster as the famous car fails to keep up to speed with the front of the grid.
The four-time world champion currently sits in 12th spot in the drivers’ standings, but will get behind the wheel a rejuvenated Racing Point/Aston Martin car.
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