‘Was Sure That There Would Be a Vacancy at Mercedes’ – Why Marko Urged Sebastian Vettel to Take Time Off In ‘21

Published 01/18/2021, 1:06 AM EST
SUZUKA, JAPAN – OCTOBER 02: Sebastian Vettel of Germany and Red Bull Racing talks with Dr Helmut Marko as he prepares to drive during practice for the Japanese Formula One Grand Prix at Suzuka Circuit in Suzuka, Japan. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)


Things did not look as bright as they do now for Sebastian Vettel back in the summer of 2020. The announcement had come forth that Ferrari had decided not to extend the German’s contract, and so, Vettel was left searching for a seat.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

A sabbatical from the sport or retirement altogether also remained as options for Vettel. One person who recommended the former to the four-time F1 champion was Red Bull advisor, Dr. Helmut Marko.

Speaking in an interview, Dr. Marko stated, “It was clear that Sebastian would have another difficult season with Ferrari. I didn’t want him to act rashly, but to wait.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Wanted Sebastian Vettel to up for grabs at the ‘right time,’ says Marko

“Because it was clear to me that fundamental things would change in the driver market for 2022. For example, I was sure that there would be a vacancy at Mercedes then. But not only there.”

BAKU, AZERBAIJAN – APRIL 25: Sebastian Vettel of Germany and Ferrari smiles in the Paddock during previews ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Azerbaijan at Baku City Circuit in Baku, Azerbaijan. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

At the time of Vettel’s seat search, Mercedes and Red Bull beckoned as potential options for him. In Dr. Marko’s opinion, he just wanted Vettel to be available on the market at the ‘right time.’

“More in general, I advised Sebastian to take time off. But that also included Red Bull. I just wanted him to still be on the market at the right time so he could take the best possible offer.”

Vettel eventually chose Aston Martin for his next chapter in F1

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

“Above all, I didn’t want a four-time world champion to say goodbye to Formula One like that. Not as a friend, and not as a Red Bull man,” concluded the Red Bull advisor.

Formula One F1 – Sakhir Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – Racing Point’s Sergio Perez in action during practice Pool via REUTERS/Giuseppe Cacace

Following the assessment of all the permutations and combinations, the 33-year-old elected to move to Aston Martin. The team of course now transforms itself from its earlier identity of Racing Point ahead of the 2021 season.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

The Silverstone-based outfit displayed its efficiency by majorly being the third fastest car on the grid. It gave Vettel immense confidence when making his final decision, and we can now hope that he hits the ground running at his new team.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

Bhargav Gopal

927 articles

Hailing from Bengaluru, Bhargav is an F1 and NASCAR author for EssentiallySports. He is a huge fan of Max Verstappen and Red Bull Racing. Bhargav also has an MBA in Sports Management from the Symbiosis School of Sports Sciences, Pune.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT