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Is Sebastian Vettel's impressive form at Aston Martin securing a promising future in F1?

Sebastian Vettel's return to form can open new possibilities for his future in F1
Sebastian Vettel's return to form can open new possibilities for his future in F1

Sebastian Vettel's introduction to F1 this season has been rather underwhelming. The German was forced to miss the first two races of the season due to Covid-19 and what followed was a return to the grid in the Australian GP.

In Australia, Vettel was hampered by a lack of running due to reliability issues with the car, as a result of which he seemed underprepared for the challenge of driving an F1 car. The four-time world champion went off track once early in the race and later ended up crashing his Aston Martin out of the race.

After the race, whispers of Sebastian Vettel not being close to his best gained even more momentum. However, since then, the Aston Martin driver has turned things around and could even be considered one of the best drivers on the grid since the race in Australia. He has scored multiple point-scoring finishes in what is the ninth fastest car on the grid, which is commendable, to say the least.

With a return to form by stringing together consistent performances and punching above the weight of the car, Sebastian Vettel, who is out of contract at the end of the season, might just be positioning himself for a brighter future in F1.


How does Sebastian Vettel compare to his teammate at Aston Martin?

Being a Sebastian Vettel fan in 2015 was actually amazing😍 https://t.co/siQO52eJ3G

Now, before we jump the gun and look at what possible opportunities might be opening up, it's worth taking a look at what Sebastian Vettel has done so far this season, especially compared to this teammate Lance Stroll. We'll take a look at the relative performance of the two drivers after the Australian GP.

At the Imola GP, Vettel outqualified Stroll in Friday's qualifying. While the German secured a P9, Stroll secured a P15. During sprint qualifying, Vettel was P13 while Stroll was P15, and then in the race, Vettel scored a P8 finish while Stroll scored a P10.

At the Miami GP, Stroll outqualified Vettel by securing P10 compared to the German driver's P13. A mistake late in the race by Stroll gave Vettel the opportunity to pass him and then fight for points. Vettel was on his way to scoring points for the team but ended up being a victim of Mick Schumacher's lunge in Turn 1. However, the Canadian driver managed a P10 after Vettel's DNF.

First points of the year for Seb 😁#ImolaGP #F1 f1.com/EMI_VET_RaceRe…

At the Spanish GP, both Aston Martins were eliminated in Q1, with Vettel being almost half a second quicker than Stroll. In the race, while Sebastian Vettel narrowly missed out on points in P11, Stroll was in P15.

Later in Monaco, the four-time world champion pulled another miracle out of the bag as he secured another top ten in qualifying while his teammate was eliminated in Q1. Vettel secured P9 in qualifying while Stroll was P18. In the race, while Vettel once again scored a point in P10, Stroll was P14.

Other than the blip in the Miami GP qualifying, Vettel has had a significant edge over his teammate, and slowly but steadily, he's starting to turn heads with the level of his performance.


Promising opportunities could be coming his way

Interesting tactics from Sebastian Vettel in the latest Grill The Grid challenge 🤨😅#F1 https://t.co/ZCFT2DOyJu

Sebastian Vettel has made it clear that his decision to stay in Formula 1 depends entirely on him either getting a hold of a competitive car in the future or Aston Martin showing significant signs of progress.

Going by what Aston Martin has shown on track this season, it's hard to expect much from the team in the immediate future and, hence, the Silverstone-based squad might not entice Vettel to stay in Formula 1. However, if Sebastian Vettel can continue in this thick vein of form, there are some very interesting future possibilities that could entice him to stay beyond the 2022 F1 season.

The Daniel Ricciardo-McLaren marriage is likely heading for a split at the end of the season. Compared to Aston Martin, McLaren has shown incredible pedigree and a hunger to progress in the last few seasons. It was third in the 2020 season and fourth in the championship in the 2021 season. Even this season, McLaren bounced back from a rather underwhelming start to the season and still managed to be fourth in the standings.

The second possibility is a long shot at Mercedes if Lewis Hamilton decides to call it quits at the end of the 2023 F1 season when his contract expires. The seven-time world champion has not seemed as chirpy this season, probably due to having an inferior car under him. If Mercedes does not mount a comeback next season and Hamilton decides to retire, could Sebastian Vettel have a shot at the coveted seat?


What does Sebastian Vettel offer to these teams?

If Sebastian Vettel can continue to perform at the level he is displaying right now, he will be an attractive commodity for all the teams. For McLaren, it will be the first multiple world champion that it will have gotten a hold of after Fernando Alonso. It also gives the team an opportunity to understand what is needed to taste championship success, something Vettel has done plenty of times in his career.

Overtake #67:Sebastian Vettel on Fernando Alonso (2011 Italian Grand Prix) https://t.co/nw9kDdPEES

More than that, it gives the team a combination of youth and experience, with Lando Norris being the driver for the future while Sebastian Vettel directs the team on the right path. Compared to the options that McLaren has at the moment, an unproven IndyCar duo of Pato O'Ward and Colton Herta and a former Red Bull reject in Pierre Gasly, who is already under contract until 2023, Sebastian Vettel seems like a favorable option.

For Mercedes, Vettel would be the perfect replacement for Hamilton. He can provide the team with much-needed experience, especially with a young George Russell on the other side. Plus, the team will once again have a multiple world champion in its ranks. As an added incentive, Mercedes will have the most successful German on the F1 grid driving for it.

If Sebastian Vettel's positive turn of form continues, then there might be some exciting possibilities for the driver at the end of the year.

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Edited by Anmol Gandhi
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