You never forget your first love. Fernando Alonso, freshly announced as a Renault driver in 2021, proved it. Sebastian Vettel might be following the same model, as the hunt for a seat is still on.
The latest rumours from Germany picture the four-time champion close to Red Bull, the team that saw him triumph from 2010 to 2013. It is no secret that both Helmut Marko and Dietrich Mateschitz would welcome Vettel back with open arms, although a hurdle (beside facemasks and any associated reprimands) called Alexander Albon might stand on their way.
The Thai driver showed his worth throughout the 2019 season and managed to keep the Red Bull seat after the mid-season swap with Gasly. Albon, a talent nurtured in the Red Bull junior programme, can be considered a successful product of the academy led by Marko. Plus, 51% of Red Bull’s shares are owned by the family of the Thai racer, which equals to being halfway through a done deal for a potential contract extension with the Milton-Keynes-based outfit.
However, no further options look alluring for Vettel, as things currently stand. Daimler CEO Ola Kallenius dismissed all rumours linking the German to Mercedes, potentially hinting at confirming their current line-up for 2021.
“I understand that this is a very exciting thought – especially for the German fans. But with Lewis and Valtteri we have two top drivers who perform at the highest level”, he told RTL “We stand by our two drivers that we have now.”
Max Verstappen would not mind a challenge against Vettel on equal machinery. The Dutchman stated that he ‘wouldn’t have a problem’ with the current Ferrari driver as a teammate, which could turn into a potential win-win for Red Bull from a PR standpoint as well. Red Bull can only benefit from fielding a rejuvenated Vettel fuelled by motivation towards a new project and reassured by the team he is closest to.
Will Vettel enforce Alonso’s school of thought and apply it to his own career?
One thing is for certain: heading back to Red Bull is so tempting, there is no need to hide it.