Vettel: Aston Martin’s F1 timeline realistic

Sebastian Vettel

Aston Martin’s ambition to be Formula 1 world championship title contenders in five years is a realistic timeline, according to Sebastian Vettel.

The Silverstone-based squad is currently laying the foundations for that, with a recruitment drive underway to bolster its staff across a range of departments.

Recently, team director Lawrence Stroll took part in the ceremonial breaking of the ground ahead of construction commencing on the team’s expanded factory.

Aston Martin is an operation which can trace its roots back to the Jordan Formula 1 team, and still operates in the same facility set up by Eddie Jordan in the early 1990s.

Over the years it has competed under a myriad of different names, most latterly Racing Point, and been considered a small team capable of punching above its weight.

Internally, there is now an attitude that there is nowhere to hide, with fresh investment giving it the wherewithal to compete shoulder to shoulder with the sport’s biggest names.

With that rise in funding comes a similar raising of expectations, with Stroll suggesting the British marque will be title contenders by the middle part of the decade.

Before then, it’s been suggested the team should be challenging for wins in 2023.

“How long does it take? I think it’s hard to say. If you look at just other teams, then probably a five-year horizon is not a wrong approach,” opined Vettel when asked of the project’s stated ambitions.

“I think it’s not a lie that you want to do it sooner.”

Investment at Aston Martin has come at an ideal time as F1 prepares for something of a reset in 2022.

New regulations offer the greatest opportunity in recent years of a pecking order shakeup.

Coupled with cost cap regulations and the need to balance the spending for 2021 versus investing part of this year’s cap on next year’s development, the rule change is seen as an opportunity by many teams.

“There’s a big reset next year, so with the cars we don’t know what to expect at this stage, could be anything,” Vettel reasoned.

“There’s a good, real chance there to make a big jump from where we are now.”

Naturally, Vettel hopes to be with the team when it does enjoy a run of success, though at 34, he is decidedly closer to the end of his career than the start.

“Will I be there in ’23, I don’t know,” the German said when asked if he expects to still be with Aston Martin, or even in Formula 1, in two years’ time.

“Will that be the last stop or last team? I don’t know.

“That’s the truth right now, and it’s not the focus at the minute.

“The focus is still on this year and trying to score many points when we can and using or building up momentum for next year.

“Then we see, with all the new cars and new things, what’s going on.”

Since joining Aston Martin at the start of the season, Vettel has recorded a best finish of second in the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

It’s been the standout moment of the season for the squad, which finds itself seventh in the constructors’ championship, 32 points down on AlphaTauri and 39 clear of Williams.

Five races remain in 2021, the next of which is the Mexico City Grand Prix on November 5-7.

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