Sebastian Vettel’s options for 2021 may not be limited to a pink Mercedes with Ralf Schumacher asking what about a blue-and-white Red Bull.
Vettel is currently weighing up an offer from Racing Point to join the team for next year’s championship after being dropped by Ferrari.
Should the German opt to head to the Silverstone-based team, he would be racing a car that has been dubbed the ‘pink Mercedes’ given that it is based on last year’s race-winning Mercedes W10.
However, Racing Point may not be the four-time World Champion’s only option.
Vettel retains close ties to Red Bull Racing, the team with whom he won his four World titles.
But while team boss Christian Horner has made it clear that it is a “definite no” from Red Bull as the team intends retaining Alex Albon alongside Max Verstappen, Red Bull does have a second team, AlphaTauri.
And that, former driver turned commentator Schumacher says, could be the German’s next destination.
“I am firmly convinced that Sebastian will be on the grid in 2021,” Soymotor quotes Schumacher as having told Sky Germany.
“Sebastian excelled at Toro Rosso early in his career and his relationship with [team boss] Franz Tost is also very good.”
AlphaTauri, though, is a team fighting just to finish inside the points and not on the podium meaning returning to the team with whom he won his first grand prix back in 2008 would be a huge step down for Vettel.
Not, however, if AlphaTauri follows the Racing Point model.
"He is not a driver who just wants to be on the starting line-up."
— Planet F1 (@Planet_F1) May 20, 2020
Schumacher added: “If it is assumed that Racing Point is completely legal, Red Bull could also do the same and give AlphaTauri a car of the same quality in 2021.”
Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko has already suggested just that.
With Renault having protested the design of the Racing Point RP20, Formula 1 stewards will hold a hearing in the coming weeks to determine the legality of the copycat car.
Should it be deemed legal, Marko says AlphaTauri may yet “photograph” this year’s RB16 and copy its design.
“According to our information several teams will again protest against Racing Point today,” he told F1-Insider.com.
“We hope that then there will finally be clarity.
“And if Racing Point is legal, we will do the same with AlphaTauri.”
Asked what exactly that meant, he replied: “Photograph the car from every angle and have it reproduced.”
That’s how Racing Point claim it designed the RP20.