Vettel will only stay in F1 to be competitive, coy on Aston Martin move

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Sebastian Vettel says he will only continue in Formula 1 if he is in a competitive seat next year.

The Ferrari driver is without a drive for 2021 after the Scuderia decided not to renew his contract and instead bring in Carlos Sainz citing the impact from coronavirus.

With options appeared limited, however, a year out or even retirement from F1 are considered genuine possibilities.

But approaching the task of deciding his future, Vettel is surprisingly upbeat.

"Exciting, to be honest. Exciting in the way that if one door shuts, I think another one will open," he told Sky Sports' Martin Brundle in Hungary.

"Whatever that door will be, I don't know yet, is the honest answer. It might be, I don't know, staying in Formula 1. It might be racing something else. It might be saying goodbye for a certain time, for good.

"Age is obviously not a problem because I still have a lot of years on the clock."

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Some have wondered if Vettel would consider following former Ferrari teammate Kimi Raikkonen in simply finding a seat that allows him to continue racing, but that by itself isn't enough for the 33-year-old.

"For me, I have also in this period found out I love to compete," he explained. "I love to win.

"Obviously I would have hoped there's more races that you mentioned that I had won, but it's still not too bad.

"So that's why I'm here. I'm not here to just participate, not here to 'be a Formula 1 driver', not here to make money. I've been in a very fortunate position and I should be ok unless I completely mismanage.

"But I'm really here to achieve something. I will see in the next time whether that's in the cards or it's not. That will drive my decision."

The one place in F1 that seems to fit the bill then in Racing Point, or Aston Martin as they'll be known from next year, who are enjoying a much-improved 2020 thanks to their so-called Pink Mercedes.

And though reports have claimed Vettel already has an offer on the table to almost certainly replace Sergio Perez, he is choosing his words carefully.

“It sounds exciting from the outside,” he said, with the team set to grow its Silverstone operation in anticipation of the new technical and financial regulations in the coming two years.

“I’m not part of that team and I don’t know the inside, the exact plans and so on. F1 moves so fast, the world moves so fast these days and people have opinions quick and they change opinions quickly.

“At the moment you look and it looks probably great, but you know I’ve been around for such a long time that you try to look beyond that in terms of seeing what might form up and what might not form up along the grid.”

One person who has taken an interest in Vettel's future is Mercedes boss Toto Wolff, but while the Austrian is a shareholder in the British carmaker, he says he won't be pulling any strings.

“Firstly, the fact that I am a shareholder in the car company has nothing to do with the F1 team,” he was quoted by

“I am also not involved in the negotiations between Lawrence Stroll, Otmar Szafnauer and Sebastian.

“Obviously I know Sebastian very well and we communicate, but it’s mostly informal."

Even so, he is supporter of Vettel making the move.

“Sergio Perez is of course a valuable asset of that team, while on the other hand, Sebastian is a four-time world champion who can also attract the attention of sponsors," Wolff added.

"But, it will be Lawrence who makes the decision.”