Sebastian Vettel may have found himself back at Red Bull in 2021 had he not already committed to Aston martin, according to the team’s advisor.
The German F1 star drove with Red Bull from 2009-2014, winning four titles along the way.
A free agent last season amid Ferrari’s decision to part ways, Red Bull insisted that Vettel would not be returning with the hope Alex Albon could fight to retain his seat alongside Max Verstappen.
That box-out subsequently saw Vettel sign with Aston Martin, while Red Bull eventually axed Albon with Sergio Perez taking his drive.
Now, their team advisor and former mentor to Vettel, Helmut Marko, has revealed Vettel would have been a contender to return to Red Bull had he still been available.
“When Ferrari gave him notice, there was no more space for us for 2021,” Marko told F1-Insider.
“At that time, we firmly assumed that Alexander Albon would develop so positively that he will be able to drive alongside Max Verstappen in 2021 as well. I said that to Sebastian.
“Unfortunately, we were wrong. When we had to act, Sebastian was no longer on the list because he has a long-term commitment to Aston Martin. That’s why Sergio Perez was the logical decision for us.”
Marko claims he urged Vettel to take time to make a call on his future in case that very scenario arose, but added: “Aston Martin was very tempting. The name has a cult status, the close partnership with Mercedes offers sporting prospects. I can understand him, even if I personally would have waited.
“I hope he gets back to his old form. He knows himself that the last two years have not been his best. For whatever reasons.”
Vettel arrived at Ferrari from Red Bull in 2015 as the replacement for Spaniard Fernando Alonso.
He took 14 wins over his five years with the Italian outfit, a far cry from his sensational form at Red Bull.