British team announce same driver pairing for next season.
With the driver market almost settled down, one of the final pieces was put in place as Aston Martin announced on Thursday that they will continue with their current driver line-up of four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel and Lance Stroll for the 2022 season.
Vettel, who joined the Aston Martin team this season on a one-plus-one contract from Ferrari last year, has had a mixed season with the team so far. The German, though, has used all his experience and talent to give the team their very first podium in the sport.
Coupled with his second-place finish at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix and his fifth-place finish in Monaco, Vettel came agonisingly close to a second podium when he finished second at the Hungarian Grand Prix but was later disqualified from the race due to fuel irregularities.
Nevertheless, after a tough start to the season that saw the German fail to score in the opening four races, Vettel has found his feet and is beginning to look like a world champion once again. Although he doesn’t have a race winning car or even a car to fight for podiums, he has once again found his pace and seems comfortable with the machinery under him and at the Silverstone environment.
Vettel, who struggled during his final two seasons at Maranello, was out of a seat at the start of the season last year, and the prospect of having a world champion available on the driver market was something Aston Martin didn’t want to let go.
Apart from the obvious champion that Aston Martin brought on board, Vettel has been instrumental in providing the team with key information and feedback from the races, something that the team have responded well to and hope to keep taking in from the experienced campaigner.
Vettel’s partner and team owner Lawrence Stroll’s son, Lance Stroll, who is in his third season with the team, is confirmed to continue for a fourth. Stroll has had a tough season so far, having struggled to score on multiple occasions, and his best finish of the season till date is his recent seventh-place finish at the Italian Grand Prix.
That said, Aston Martin do believe in the 22-year-old and hope that the young Canadian soaks in the experience from his veteran teammate to lead the team to glory in the future.
Speaking about the driver retentions, Team Principal Otmar Szafnauer said:
“Lance is one of the most gifted drivers in modern Formula 1, and to that raw talent he is now adding serious racecraft.
“A four-time world champion, having driven 271 Grands Prix, of which he has won 53, Sebastian is also a massive asset to our team, and next year we expect both of them to race well in what will be a very different formula from the current one.
“We never under-estimate our opposition, so we do not intend to over-promise, but we know that Lance and Sebastian will get the very best from the tools we will put at their disposal.”
“I am really looking forward to racing the new generation of Formula 1 cars. Their look is very different and the new technical regulations should give us cars that can race much more closely than recently.
“More exciting racing will be great for the drivers as well as for the fans. The changes are so big that every team will be starting from a new beginning, so it will be a great opportunity for us at Aston Martin.
“I believe in the strength of our new growing team, so I am already looking forward to 2022.”
Stroll, meanwhile, spoke about his goals and vision for the future after being retained:
“Next season I will be embarking on my sixth year in Formula 1, alongside my teammate Sebastian… and I greatly look forward to continuing the journey with him next year. We have not achieved what we set out to do this year, but that has only amplified our hunger and drive for success next season.”
With Aston Martin’s announcement, the only seats in the grid that are yet to be confirmed are the second Alfa Romeo seat and the Haas seats.