Red Bull's motorsport advisor Dr Helmut Marko has suggested that his former driver and current Aston Martin star Sebastian Vettel should have taken a year off in Formula 1 in 2021 instead of joining the rebranded Racing Point. The comments come after Vettel's unfortunate start to life at Aston Martin following a P15 finish in the season-opening race in Bahrain.
After a poor 2020 with Ferrari which saw the four-time world champion score a mere 33 points, Vettel replaced the outgoing Sergio Perez at the Silverstone-based outfit. Helmut Marko has suggested that just like Mercedes, Aston Martin too are struggling with the low rake floor in their cars. The Austrian reckoned that the team is the sixth or seventh best team on the grid.
Vettel should have taken the 2021 season off: Helmut Marko
Even before the start of the 2021 season, Helmut Marko had said that Sebastian Vettel should take a year off in 2021 and come back fresher in 2022. In an interview with Formel1.de, Marko said:
“I was of the opinion, I told you that too, that he should take a year off, sort himself out, ask himself what he wants.
"I believe that a lot is possible within Formula 1 next year. He didn't do that. Now he sits in the Aston Martin, which of course suffers similar to the Mercedes."
Despite having a poor race in Bahrain, Marko believes Aston Martin have what it takes to stage a comeback as the 2021 season moves on. However, he does not believe their improvement will be as drastic as Mercedes', following the team's vows in pre-season testing. Marko said:
“Let's go back to the test where Mercedes had a very unstable rear end: Mercedes managed to stabilise that to a large extent.
“Whereas with Aston Martin, as far as I have seen, they have not succeeded to that extent. They will eventually get better handling together as well, but apparently not to the level of Mercedes."
Vettel's legacy at Red Bull
Sebastian Vettel is arguably Red Bull's most successful driver till date. The German joined the team in 2009 and went on to win four consecutive world championships with them from 2010 to 2013. Vettel ended his stay at Red Bull in 2014, ending with 38 wins before joining Ferrari.