Sebastian Vettel signs with Aston Martin ahead of F1 return

Sebastian Vettel, Belgian GP 2020

The long-awaited announcement has finally arrived and Vettel is staying in F1

Mark Thompson/Getty Images

Sebastian Vettel has finally been confirmed to be joining Aston Martin for the 2021 season, after the announcement that Sergio Perez would be leaving the Racing Point team at the end of this year.

Vettel’s move has long been speculated since the confirmation that he would be replaced at Ferrari by Carlos Sainz. The four-time world champion has signed a multi-year deal to take him beyond the 2021 season with the Aston Martin team.

“I am pleased to finally share this exciting news about my future. I’m extremely proud to say that I will become an Aston Martin driver in 2021,” Vettel said of his move.

“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 [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.”

Though the announcement said Vettel had signed for longer than a one-year deal, the exact contract length was not stated, though a deal beyond 2021 would take him into the new era of F1, with fresh regulations set to be introduced for the 2022 season in the hopes of improving wheel-to-wheel racing.

Vettel had hoped to emulate compatriot Michael Schumacher at Ferrari by bringing world championships back to Maranello, though those dreams are a long-distant memory as the team is enduring one of its worst seasons in recent memory.

Earlier this year at the Silverstone double-header, Vettel was pictured leaving the circuit with Racing Point team principal Otmar Szafnauer, fuelling speculation that a deal was in the works.

Though the team boss denied that any move was on the horizon, Perez’s departure from the team cleared the way for the team to announce the 53-time race winner as its next driver.

“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,” Szafnauer 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.”