Sebastian Vettel is “about to sign” with Aston Martin for 2021 with team owner Lawrence Stroll triggering Sergio Perez’s exit clause, reports Bild.
Rumours about Vettel’s future and his possible 2021 team continued at the Styrian Grand Prix weekend as team bosses were asked if they had any interest in signing Vettel for next season.
The German is out of contract with Ferrari at the end of this year’s championship with the Scuderia having informed him that his services are no longer required.
Racing Point team principal Otmar Szafnauer spoke of a long-term deal with his two drivers, Perez and Lance Stroll.
“Well, like I’ve said before,” he said in reply to a question from Autosport, “it’s flattering that everyone this that a four-time World Champion would come to our team, but maybe that’s because the car is a bit quicker now.
“You’re absolutely right, we have long contracts with both our drivers, so it would only be logical that we don’t have space.”
Bild, though, says team owner Stroll is about to make a space.
According to the German publication, although Perez has a contract that runs until the end of 2022, he has an exit clause in that deal.
It states that Racing Point, which will operate under the Aston Martin moniker, can buy out the driver should they decide to go down a different driver path.
The deal, which has to be agreed before 31 July 2020, is currently being negotiated between Perez, his sponsors and the Racing Point bosses.
Once that is agreed, Racing Point will announce Vettel as Stroll’s 2021 team-mate.
Horner alluded to such a deal when he spoke with Sky Sports during the Styrian GP weekend.
“I guess he’s got a couple of choices available to him, I assume either Racing Point, or a year out and re-evaluate the options in a year’s time,” said Vettel’s former boss.
“I don’t think Lance is going to get fired! Of course drivers’ contracts between the teams, you never know what’s within them, it’s only the Contract Recognition Board that has full sight of them.
“I’m sure that perhaps they have options, or break points, or whatever. But that’s really none of our business.”