Sebastian Vettel responded to talk linking him to McLaren by suggesting that such speculation was exactly that, just talk.
Vettel is yet to extend his contract with Aston Martin beyond the 2022 campaign, leading to chatter that he may depart the team at the end of the season, and perhaps Formula 1 in general.
And speaking to media personnel ahead of the French Grand Prix, Vettel was presented with a fresh rumour linking him with a switch to McLaren.
Although Daniel Ricciardo is contracted to the team for 2023 and remains committed, murmurings continue about an early end to that partnership due to Ricciardo’s struggle to find form.
“I think Lando has a contract!” was the initial tongue-in-cheek response from Vettel.
He did though then dismiss the possibility of joining the Woking outfit.
“I know obviously some people there,” he said, “but I think it’s just rumours.”
Instead, with the point looming where Vettel and Aston Martin must look to strike a deal, Vettel said that the “clear intention” is there for them to continue together.
“I said that at some point we’ll start talking, I’m talking to the team,” Vettel confirmed. “I think there’s a clear intention to keep going and we’ll see soon where where we stand.”
Vettel will also take a trip back in time at Paul Ricard, home of the upcoming French Grand Prix, by getting behind the wheel of a 100-year-old Aston Martin, the manufacturer’s first to compete in a grand prix.
“Yeah it’s going to be exciting, I’ll go right after this to do a little bit of driving on the track,” said Vettel.
“And obviously it’s a very different car, but it’s to celebrate the 100th anniversary, and it was the car that was competing in the first Grand Prix, not Formula One Grand Prix because that was in 1950, but first Grand Prix. I think it might even have been the French Grand Prix, as far as I learned.”
Aston Martin struggled in their most recent outing, neither Vettel nor Lance Stroll scoring points at the 2022 Austrian Grand Prix.
Vettel believes that the next battleground, Paul Ricard, is “not the most exciting track in the world”, but hopes it will allow Aston Martin to get a better feel for the upgrade which they introduced back at Silverstone, so that they can return to battling for points.
“We brought an update to Silverstone that we didn’t fully get on top of yet, and maybe this weekend will help us to get a little bit more answers,” Vettel stated.
“So exciting and I hope we can be a bit more competitive, to get back in the midfield and therefore that bit more back in the mix, that will be nice.
“The track, it’s not the most exciting track in the world, but it’s still quite challenging and technically demanding and it’s going to be very hot. So we’ll see what the weekend brings.”
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