Sebastian Vettel might just go back to where his success in F1 started and race with AlphaTauri next year. That is the opinion of former F1 driver Ralf Schumacher, who can see Red Bull’s sister team having a car which closely resembles the RB16.
Mercedes, Red Bull, McLaren and Renault have shut down talk of signing Vettel since his impending departure from Ferrari was announced.
Racing Point has since emerged as his most probably landing spot, with key investor Lawrence Stroll eager to bring in a big name for when they rebrand as Aston Martin.
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AlphaTauri, though, remain among the teams the 33-year-old might end up at, with their driver line-up for 2021 yet to be confirmed.
Vettel secured his first ever F1 win with them at the 2008 Italian Grand Prix when they were still racing under their old name of Toro Rosso.
And he still has close ties with their team principal Franz Tost, as well as the hierarchy at their sister team Red Bull, with whom he won his four World Drivers’ Championships.
Schumacher, who won six Grands Prix during his 10-year career in F1, reckons Vettel will definitely be racing next year.
And he has talked up the possibility of his fellow German returning to the Red Bull fold – albeit with AlphaTauri.
“I am firmly convinced that Sebastian will be on the grid in 2021,” Schumacher told Sky Sport in Germany.
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“Sebastian excelled at Toro Rosso early in his career and his relationship with Franz Tost is also very good.”
AlphaTauri have to use different car designs to Red Bull due to F1 rules but a precedent which would provide a workaround for that may soon be set.
Racing Point have admitted the RP20 is based upon pictures of Mercedes’ W10 from last year and are confident of fending off a challenge from Renault, who allege they copied the design of the Silver Arrows’ break ducts.
Schumacher said the impending ruling on the case might be good news for AlphaTauri – who could base next year’s car on Red Bull’s current RB16.
And that would make them a more enticing prospect for Vettel, given the RB16’s quality compared to the cars of Red Bull’s rivals.
“In addition, if the Racing Point is judged 100 per cent legal, Red Bull could also do the same and field four cars of the same quality with AlphaTauri in 2021,” Schumacher said.
Vettel, meanwhile, will resume his 2020 season on Sunday as F1 returns to Silverstone for the British Grand Prix.
The four-time champion is currently 10th in the drivers’ standings, three places adrift of Ferrari team-mate Charles Leclerc.
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