Schumacher not ruling out Red Bull return for Vettel

Michelle Foster
Christian Horner and Sebastian Vettel pa

Christian Horner and Sebastian Vettel pa

Ralf Schumacher doesn’t believe the Red Bull door has closed entirely on Sebastian Vettel, convinced it is still “possible”.

On the look out for a new team for the 2021 season after it was confirmed that this year would be his final one with Ferrari, Vettel has had several F1 doors closed on him.

He was initially linked to Renault, believed to be in line to replace Daniel Ricciardo. That seat, though, went to Fernando Alonso.

Mercedes also shut the door despite motorsport boss Toto Wolff saying he would never say an outright no to a four-time World Champion.

Weeks later Mercedes has reportedly agreed a deal “in principle” with Valtteri Bottas with Lewis Hamilton also expected to re-sign.

With his options for a top-half-of-the-grid team dwindling, Vettel admitted he would be open to returning to his former team Red Bull Racing.

The German won his four World titles with the Milton Keynes team.

He said: “Red Bull is a winning car so probably the answer would be yes.

“It would be interesting. I know this team from the past very well and of course I still have contact with many people – Christian (Horner), Helmut (Marko) etc. They have a strong car and they are a strong team, that’s what I know from the past.”

Days later, though, Christian Horner said it was a “definite no” to Vettel racing for Red Bull in 2021 as the team wanted to retain Alex Albon as Max Verstappen’s team-mate.

Schumacher, though, reckons if the German strings together a few good races and Albon has a few more lacklustre ones, such as his outing at the Styrian GP, Red Bull would have to consider Vettel.

“In the short term it was important for Sebastian to have been ahead of Charles in qualifying,” the former F1 driver told Sky Germany. “That certainly did him good.

“The hope for a cockpit next year can only live on if he performs well.

“He is a driver in a class of his own. There’s no question about that.

“But there’s nothing older than last weekend’s race…

“I think a comeback at Red Bull is possible. He has a very close relationship with the people in charge. Especially Didi Mateschitz.

“Alexander Albon again didn’t cut a happy figure at Red Bull this weekend. You shouldn’t forget that he is on average half a second slower than Verstappen.

“In the long run a team cannot afford such a thing.

“They need a driver who regularly finishes second or third behind Max.

“Otherwise they lose too much in the constructors’ championship.”

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