Conceding that Mercedes will be the “big favourite” next season, Sebastian Vettel says his own chances of success will depend on the car Aston Martin hand him.
After six seasons with Ferrari, which included two runner-up results in the championship, Vettel is swapping in the off-season.
The 33-year-old is moving to Aston Martin, currently racing as Racing Point, replacing Sergio Perez after team owner Lawrence Stroll paid off the Mexican driver such was his desire to have Vettel in the car alongside his son, Lance Stroll.
While it may have seemed inconceivable 12 months ago, Vettel’s move to Aston Martin could be seen as a step up the grid given Ferrari’s lacklustre 2020 form.
However, that doesn’t Vettel will be fighting for the World Championship next season.
“It’s hard to say,” he told Sky Germany of his goals.
“Everyone who knows F1, knows that putting goals into words is always dependent on the possibilities of the car and the team.
“Next year Mercedes will be the big favourite again.”
He is, however, excited for the Aston Martin challenge.
“The challenge. The mood. Tackling a new project on both sides, get together and have fun together,” he said of his new adventure.
A farewell song for Ferrari and some wonderful words for Charles Leclerc.
— Planet F1 (@Planet_F1) December 14, 2020
Sunday’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, a race in which Ferrari failed to score a single point, marked Vettel’s final race in red and with Charles Leclerc as his team-mate.
While there have been some suggestions during the course of the year that Leclerc’s long-term contract with Vettel is what spelt the end of the German’s time with Ferrari, Vettel had only kind words for his team-mate.
Leclerc may have only contested his third season in Formula 1 but the four-time World Champion says he learned a “thing or two” from the youngster.
“Charles is incredibly fast,” he said of the Monegasque driver.
“He has his own way of driving the car and dealing with problems. There are two or three things that stay with me in that sense.
“I also learned a lot from Kimi. I think you can learn a thing or two from every driver.
“I think we get along very well.
“We are both at a very different point in our careers but we both were able to learn from each other. That’s why I wouldn’t want to miss out on our time together.”