Otmar Szafnauer hopes Sebastian Vettel’s influence can help Aston Martin become multiple World Champions, just like the driver himself.
Vettel is joining Aston Martin for the 2021 campaign “and beyond” after being told before this season’s racing began that his Ferrari contract would not be extended.
In September, it was confirmed that the German will be displacing Sergio Perez at Aston Martin, which is what the Racing Point team will be rebranded as next year.
The four-time former World Champion is due to partner Lance Stroll, son of team owner Lawrence, and serve as the experienced member of the driver line-up as well as an ambassador for the Aston Martin marque.
Amid a poor final season with Ferrari, Vettel had a much more positive performance at the Turkish Grand Prix where, in difficult conditions, he rose from 12th position on the grid to run consistently in the top five and ended up standing on the third-place step of the podium following a late mistake from his team-mate Charles Leclerc.
Team principal Szafnauer is looking to utilise the 33-year-old’s expertise garnered over his 13 full seasons in F1 to lift Aston Martin towards their ultimate aim – winning several world titles in the mould of Mercedes, with whom they have become closely connected.
“Through him we will learn that in every detail, no matter how small, there is a chance to improve,” Szafnauer told Sportbild.
“We hope he will teach us what we need to do in order to win four Championship titles like him.”
Otmar Szafnauer on Vettel: "Through him we will learn that in every detail, no matter how small, there is a chance to improve. We hope that he will teach us what we need to do in order to win four championship titles like him."#Sportbild @RacingPointF1
— tami. (@Vetteleclerc) November 18, 2020
Szafnauer also insisted there was no immediate prospect of Vettel being able to work with Aston Martin before his deal with Ferrari expires at the end of the year.
The 2020 season finishes in Abu Dhabi on December 13 and with Ferrari sitting 24 points behind Racing Point in the constructors’ standings, the two teams remain direct competitors.
Also, the late finish to this rescheduled campaign leaves less than two weeks between the conclusion and the festive holidays.
In confirming Aston Martin can begin working with Vettel from January, Szafnauer added: “Before that, Sebastian is under contract with Ferrari and we haven’t yet asked if they might release him earlier for us.”