Sebastian Vettel has said he has no regrets about not returning to Red Bull, and didn’t think it was a viable option in the first place.
The four-time World Champion was left searching for a seat in 2020 after being told he would be leaving Ferrari and was eventually drafted in to replace Sergio Perez at Aston Martin, formerly Racing Point.
While Perez said being moved aside for Vettel was not a massive “low point” for him, this in turn led to a scramble for the Mexican to earn himself a drive for 2021, and would eventually end up taking Alex Albon’s place at Red Bull for the season.
Perez, while he admits that qualifying has been his weak point so far this season, has impressed on Sundays and earned his first win as a Red Bull driver last time out in Azerbaijan, with Vettel finishing as runner-up.
The German also reserved special praise for Perez, saying he has earned the chance to compete at the front on a regular basis with his standout performances in midfield cars over the years.
“No I don’t regret [not returning to Red Bull] and I don’t think it was an option,” Vettel explained to reporters at Paul Ricard, while sat next to Perez in their pre-race press conference.
“Obviously I decided to go in a new direction and join a new team with Aston Martin on a new journey and I’m very happy about that.
“And in all honesty, and this I really mean from the heart, I’m very happy that Checo got a great seat because he deserves it.
“He’s shown it not just with a win but he’s shown it with the last 10 years or something like that, that he’s been in Formula 1, and he deserves to be in a great car.”
With Red Bull now competing on a level playing field with Mercedes for both titles, with Vettel winning all four of his Drivers’ Championships with the Milton Keynes-based team, Vettel said he’s pleased for his former team and Perez as they continue to impress in 2021.
He added: “I’m happy that Red Bull have a great car for two reasons: one, I obviously know a big part of the team, but obviously for Checo that he gets to enjoy the fact that you go to a race and you know that you have a car that you can fight for the win with.”