Formula 1: Will Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin) retire soon?

“I don’t want to fight for points, but for victory. Otherwise, I don’t enjoy it anymore,” warned Sebastian Vettel recently. “In the coming weeks, according to my family, I will definitely know how realistic my goals are and what energy I still feel able to put into growing with the team.”he added, in a tweet published on Monday by Italian journalist Davide Russo.

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The Aston Martin driver is wondering about the follow-up to his Formula 1 career, because his latest green challenge doesn’t look what he expected. Since joining the Silverstone team in 2021, it has been on a steeper slope than imagined. In Toro Rosso, Red Bull and Ferrari, he accumulated numerous victories (53) surpassed only by Lewis Hamilton (103) and Michael Schumacher (91), and won the world championship four times. Motivated, he wanted to participate in the emergence of a team as he had done with Toro Rosso and Red Bull. But the Aston Martin has continued to fall since the 2020 season, marked by the victory of Sergio Perez, under the name of Racing Point.

The keystone of the Aston Martin

At the age of 35, Sebastian Vettel is facing a timing problem – the team’s new factory and wind tunnel (estimated to cost between 150 and 200 million euros) will not be ready until the summer of 2023 – and the competitiveness of its car, badly born and difficult to correct. . Aston Martin would like not to be discouraged because he is the keystone of the building, with technical knowledge at a different level than that of Lance Stroll, the tired head son who has long since reached his competition threshold.

“We have always been clear: if we want to continue, we would like it to be for a long time.Mike Krack, the team director, insisted again recently. We are talking. We have a very, very good relationship, and we don’t have to set deadlines for each other. “ The management is trying to gain time, in the hope that a significant result will give a boost to the Anglo-German association. To sum up the problem in another way, Helmut Marko, mentor of the Toro Rosso and Red Bull driver, said last weekend: “If you don’t see any lights at the end of the tunnel, I guess it will stop.”

“There is a time for everything and an age for everything”

The other concern is that Sebastian Vettel is also not able to fight this feeling of personal degradation that has been eating him during his last two seasons at Ferrari, in contact with Charles Leclerc. His collaboration with Aston Martin had started terribly badly in 2021, but he had scored 43 points. We don’t see him doing so well from the fifteen units accumulated during the first half of this 2022 season (in nine Grand Prix).

At the controls of AMR22 No. 5, he only manages with difficulty to get out of the anonymity of the peloton, as evidenced by his only three appearances in Q3 this year. It started with two rugged fouls in Melbourne (qualifying and race) and is no longer really respected in the rearguard battles. Run over by Mick Schumacher (Haas) in Miami, he also had the misfortune to cross paths with Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri) in Spielberg. No longer inspires the same aura (respect / respect repetition) and who remembers his rise from P13 to P8 in Imola, his four points that unlocked Aston Martin’s counter? Or your sixth place in Baku?

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By not drawing the paddock’s attention, he mobilizes consciences and some think it’s a way out for him. A Grand Prix is ​​no longer happening without seeing one of its battles emerge: the “1st Underwater Grand Prix” announced for 2060 in Miami, the exploitation of oil sands in Canadian Alberta or the defense of bees in Spielberg . “It didn’t happen overnight.warn. It’s very different from what I perceived ten years ago. But look at my age in the passport. There is a time for everything and an age for everything. I’m so glad I discovered these other topics, because they made my universe grow. I feel a responsibility. ” A case of awareness of human rights and the climate crisis, “more important than anything else,” adds those who admit to sometimes suffering from “ecological anxiety.”

Carbon dust, your last fight?

Do you still feel like a pilot in all this? Yes, when he wants to talk (unsuccessfully) about the rules of the track in Spielberg, or when he denounces the harmful effects of the dust given off by the brake discs. “It’s something that needs to be worked on because the design of this year’s brake blades is throwing all the dust in our face and that’s not good,” he told Sky Sports last weekend. “Breathing carbon dust is not very healthy. I hope the FIA ​​will look into it soon, because it is not necessary and it is easy to change.”

Sebastian Vettel proclaims, safeguarding the environment requires “more action” and really makes the impression of taking advantage of its media weight to talk about it, aware of the ambiguity of its status as a major consumer of fossil fuels. grabs or behind the wheel of his race car circulating for the Saudi oil company Aramco. But maybe not for long. Eleven Grand Prix, who knows.

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