Sebastian Vettel: Aston Martin keen for German driver to race for them in 2022

By Andrew BensonChief F1 writer
Sebastian Vettel
Vettel celebrated his first podium for Aston Martin at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix in June

Aston Martin say they are committed to Sebastian Vettel and are keen for him to race for them in 2022.

Vettel, 34, has a contractual option he can exercise to continue with the team after this season, which has a due date in the coming weeks.

Aston Martin team owner Lawrence Stroll said: "We are delighted with Sebastian. It is our firm intention to continue with him next year and beyond."

Stroll said he expected an answer on Vettel's future "imminently".

Vettel has had an up-and-down season with Aston Martin, who he joined this year after a difficult final couple of campaigns at Ferrari.

After a slow start, the German four-time world champion has veered between some strong races - including a second place at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix and another in Hungary before he was disqualified for a technical infringement - and other less convincing performances.

Vettel has few options other than Aston Martin if he wants to stay in F1. All the major teams have confirmed their line-ups for next season.

His current drive, the second seat at Alfa Romeo and the two at back markers Haas are the only ones yet to be announced.

Stroll said he was "unconcerned" by Vettel's growing involvement in environmental causes, which "have no bearing whatsoever on our strong and ongoing desire for him to continue to drive for us in Formula 1."

The Canadian billionaire's comments came as he unveiled a new F1 factory at the team's base at Silverstone which he says will cost between £150-200m.

He said the new base, which will greatly expand the team's current site opposite Silverstone Circuit, was required to meet his ambitions for the team to be able to fight for the World Championship within three to five years.

Aston Martin
Stroll says Aston Martin's new factory at Silverstone is 'an investment in F1'

"It's a hugely significant investment, above 400,000 sq ft," Stroll said. "It shows my belief in the team, confirms my ambitions and my belief in F1. It's really an investment in F1."

The new site will include a brand new wind tunnel. The current factory, which has grown organically since Aston Martin's forerunner Jordan Grand Prix entered F1 in 1991, will be repurposed as a wellness centre, cafeteria, F1 simulator and heritage centre where guests can be entertained.

Stroll said the first phase of building, which had been delayed by almost two years because of the coronavirus pandemic, would be ready in 18 months, the second in 36 months.

Stroll, who took over the Aston Martin road-car company last year before renaming his F1 team after it for this season, drew both a parallel and a contrast with McLaren's Technology Centre, which was the most recent purpose-built F1 factory to be constructed when it was inaugurated in 2004.

The MTC was conceived as an architectural statement as well as an F1 base and former team boss Ron Dennis recruited celebrated architect Sir Norman Foster to design it.

Stroll said: "This is the reverse of what Ron Denis did with Norman Foster. This is a business, this is a factory, a campus, fit for purpose to match the DNA and culture of ourselves, the purpose of what it's been built for, to be efficient and streamlined, to have everyone sitting side by side under one roof, taking into consideration the new financial regs and where sport will go in the future.

"It truly represents our image, culture and DNA."

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