Sebastian Vettel was ‘immediately very motivated’ to join Aston Martin Racing for the upcoming season after they outlined their ambitions, he revealed at the launch of their first F1 car in 61 years.
The German spent five years at Ferrari, but the Italian racing company decided against offering Vettel a new contract for the 2021 season, replacing him with Carlos Sainz Jr.
However, it wasn’t long before four-time world champion had a seat for the new campaign, joining the newly rebranded Aston Martin, previously BWT Racing Point, in September.
He was present in one of the most anticipated Formula One car launches in recent history, as Aston Martin revealed their 2021 challenger – the AMR21 – in a virtual event on Wednesday (3 March).
The AMR21 will take to the track in a striking green livery in recognition of the brand’s traditional racing colours.
2021 will be Vettel’s fifteenth season in Formula 1, making 257 starts, 53 wins, 121 podiums and 57 pole positions – his wealth of experience will be hugely influential in Aston Martin’s development throughout 2021.
Although, it was Racing Point’s results in recent seasons that encouraged Vettel to embark on a new adventure. He said: “Even though I have raced for four Formula One teams and for many years, starting a new season with a new team still gives me a sense of excitement.
“As a driver, I have always kept my eye on the competition and this team has consistently impressed me with what they have been able to do without the biggest of budgets. So, when Lawrence [Stroll] and Otmar [Szafnauer] approached me last year, and explained what their ambitions were, I was immediately very motivated to join the team.
The German will be in the history book when he lines up next to Lance Stroll at the Bahrain Grand Prix, as it will officially announce Aston Martin return to the sport after 61 years.
Aston Martin’s last participant in F1 came in 1960, but after a string of poor results, they abandoned F1 entry after the 1960 British Grand Prix to focus on sports car racing.
Now, after years of supporters calling for them to return, Aston Martin announced in April that they will return, and Vettel can’t wait to be part of their rich history in the sport.
He said: “I love the history of motor racing and Aston Martin is one of the great names of the past so it is fun to be part of their return to Formula One after an absence of 61 years.
“Having visited the factory and met the senior people as well as my engineers and mechanics, I can see they are a really good group. I feel confident that, by the support Lawrence brings together with the Aston Martin name, we will make real progress together.
“I haven’t driven the car yet – obviously – but I think it looks great. I am really looking forward to getting it out on the track. I am also looking forward to working with and getting to know better everyone in the team, including my team-mate Lance [Stroll].
“We will certainly make a big effort to deliver some good results together and have fun doing it.”
Aston Martin’s long-awaited return to the F1 track is only a week away when the teams travel to Bahrain for pre-season testing.