Sebastian Vettel joining Aston Martin for F1 2021 replacing Sergio Perez

Sebastian Vettel has signed to join Racing Point to spearhead their new Aston Martin era in a move that prolongs the four-time world champion’s Formula 1 career into 2021.

Replacing the long-serving Sergio Perez, who announced his departure from the team on Wednesday night, Vettel will drive alongside Lance Stroll.

Although a contract length was not specifically stated, the team say the 33-year-old has joined for “2021 and beyond”.

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Vettel was informed in May he would not have his Ferrari contract renewed and has repeatedly said he was taking time to consider his options whether or not to stay in the sport.

“It’s a new adventure for me with a truly legendary car company,” said Vettel. “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 [Stroll] 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.”

Aston Martin sign one of F1’s big names

Racing Point are fourth in this year’s Constructors’ Championship – two places ahead of struggling giant Ferrari – after a big jump up in performance with a car that has courted controversy from rivals due to its likeness to last year’s title-winning Mercedes.

The Silverstone-based outfit are eyeing even further progress when they take the name of Aston Martin from next season, the British sportscar brand which was bought by the team’s billionaire co-owner Lawrence Stroll earlier this year.

“The signing of Sebastian is a clear statement of the team’s ambition to establish itself as one of the most competitive names in the sport,” said the team.

Otmar Szafnauer, the outfit’s team principal, said: “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.

“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.”

Who’s now confirmed where in F1 2021?

Next season’s grid is now steadily moving into place.

There was a spate of driver confirmations during the lockdown period, with Ferrari signing Carlos Sainz to replace Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo agreeing to take the Spaniard’s place at Renault. The latter have since signed Fernando Alonso, the Spaniard to return to F1 after a two-year break with the renamed Alpine team, while Mercedes have just signed up Valtteri Bottas so far.

Vettel is the first of the current grid’s three world champions to sign up to F1 2021.

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