Toto Wolff is not getting involved in Sebastian Vettel’s talks with Aston Martin but concedes the champ would be a great signing for the team.
Left without a race seat for next year’s championship after Ferrari decided not to renew his contract, Vettel is currently job hunting.
The German has been linked to Mercedes, Red Bull, Renault and more recently Aston Martin. The latter rumours taking hold last week.
According to Bild, Aston Martin, currently running under the Racing Point banner, will announce Vettel as early as next month, the German taking Sergio Perez’s place at the team.
'Sebastian Vettel to Aston Martin, Lawrence Stroll triggers Sergio Perez exit clause'
— Planet F1 (@Planet_F1) July 15, 2020
Although Perez has a long-term contract with the Silverstone-based team, team owner Lawrence Stroll is reportedly in talks with Perez and his management to buy him out of his contract.
The exit clause is in place until 31 July 2020.
Given Wolff’s friendship with Vettel and his position as an Aston Martin shareholder, and maybe even one day as team boss according to the rumours, the Austrian was asked whether he was playing a role in the negotiations.
Wolff denied this.
“Firstly, the fact that I am a shareholder in the car company has nothing to do with the F1 team,” he said in quotes carried by grandpx.news.
“I am also not involved in the negotiations between Lawrence Stroll, Otmar Szafnauer and Sebastian.
“Obviously I know Sebastian very well and we communicate, but it’s mostly informal.”
Wolff does, however, have an opinion on the driver situation, saying he believes Vettel would be an asset to Aston Martin.
He said: “Sergio Perez is of course a valuable asset of that team, while on the other hand Sebastian is a four-time World Champion who can also attract the attention of sponsors.”
But, he added, “it will be Lawrence who makes the decision.”
Vettel did confirm at the Hungarian Grand Prix that he has been in talks with Aston Martin, but says it just “loose” talks at this stage.
“Well, at this stage, I think it’s talks,” he told Motorsport.com.
“I said last week that I had been in talks with Renault for example, so I think it’s also just talks.
“I think at a later stage with anyone, I think then it would get a bit more concrete.
“But at this stage, the truth is that there is nothing to announce and nothing more concrete than just loose talks.”