SEPTEMBER 13, 2021
No plan B for Aston Martin amid Vettel rumours
Otmar Szafnauer has slammed reports that all is not well with the relationship between Aston Martin and quadruple world champion Sebastian Vettel.
Rumours began to harden at Monza that the two sides are not in full agreement about continuing to collaborate beyond 2021, as some begin to wonder if 34-year-old Vettel is contemplating retirement.
That would tie up with recent suggestions that Aston Martin reached out to enquire about the contractual status of Alpine's Fernando Alonso and also Monza winner and McLaren driver Daniel Ricciardo.
But Szafnauer, the Aston Martin team boss, said any suggestion of tension in the talks between the Silverstone based outfit and Vettel is "absolutely 100 percent nonsense".
"We don't have a plan B," he insisted. "He doesn't have a plan B.
"You can ask him yourself and I am sure he will say that he loves it here," Szafnauer added.
Although Vettel is said to have signed a multi-year contract last year to move from Ferrari to Aston Martin in 2021, Szafnauer does admit that the deal contains options on both sides.
However, he says Aston Martin has no reason to make enquiries with other drivers.
"If we had the slightest doubt, we would have entered into such discussions in July, when everyone was talking about going to Williams or Alfa," he said.
Former driver Christian Danner thinks the story will purely be about "money and the various contract options".
"I see Vettel staying with Aston Martin," Danner told Sport1. "He won't lose the opportunity to wait and see whether what he bought into will lead to success."
Szafnauer said he expects official announcements to be ready before Sochi in two weeks.