Aston Martin ‘tempted’ to lure Vettel out of retirement
By Ian Parkes
Wednesday 29th March, 2023 - 11:00am
Aston Martin team principal Mike Krack has revealed he was “tempted” to call Sebastian Vettel and haul him out of retirement following Lance Stroll’s pre-season bike crash.
Just days before the start of testing, Stroll broke both wrists whilst on a training ride in Spain, forcing him out of the three days of running at the Bahrain International Circuit.
It appeared at one stage he would also miss the curtain-raising race at the same track the following weekend but the Canadian driver made a remarkable recovery and battled through the pain barrier to take up his seat in the AMR23, finishing sixth.
Prior to the race, Vettel’s name had emerged as a potential replacement for Stroll should he be unable to drive, despite the four-time F1 champion only retiring just a few months previously at the end of last season.
Vettel’s name, however, was an obvious link given his two seasons with Aston Martin before deciding to call time on his career.
“Tempted, yes, 100%,” said Krack when asked on the F1 Nation podcast if he had thought about calling on Vettel.
“But we didn’t do it because we have such high respect for Sebastian and his decision (to retire) that he made at the time, that I think it would not have been correct to even ask.
“We wanted to respect where he was and we didn’t want to put him in any difficult position.”
Vettel has played his part in Aston surge
Krack has revealed that due to the type of person Vettel is, he contacted the 51-year-old to applaud the team on its remarkable form and the podium from his replacement Fernando Alonso in Bahrain.
“We have been in touch,” added Krack. “We were in touch for the new year, obviously.
“But then also Sebastian was Sebastian like, congratulating us, very gentleman-like after our first podium in Bahrain.
“I said to him ‘This is also your merit’ because he brought us one step up over the previous two years.
“He brought us up in a lot of areas where we have learned a lot and we have progressed a lot, so he certainly has his part in where we are now.
“But he is comfortable (with his retirement decision). He is not regretting, or whatever, because he was very conscious about his decision when he made it.
“I think the respect between himself and the team, the respect between himself and myself, was really shown by this great moment of congratulating us.
“It was really, really appreciated and I relayed it to the whole team.”