The Vettel finger is back - even though it was "only" seventh place at the USA GP for Sebastian Vettel. The green cucumber Aston Martin recently became a fast runabout, which gave 00Seb the "license to score". Already the hot ride in the wet battle in Japan got the old fire out of the four-time world champion. What the fans garnished him with two "Driver of the Day" awards. So the question arises: Was Sebastian Vettel's decision to end his career a bit too hasty?
One thing is certain: Aston Martin is currently getting a kind of second breath after a completely botched first half of the season. In the last three Grands Prix (Singapore, Japan, USA), the British team scored the fourth most points of all racing teams and was therefore "best of the rest" behind the top three teams. Certainly a little chaos played into the hands of the Greens, but the upward trend is still clearly recognizable. Still not enough for the men of owner Lawrence Stroll, who actually wanted to see Aston as a clear fourth force for 2022 at least. But at least the days when Sebastian Vettel had to follow at the end of the field without a chance, like in the Austrian race, are obviously over.
However, this resurgence comes a little too late for the four-time champion. Because Vettel made the decision about his future during the summer break. So does Vettel regret this decision? Probably not really. Because as nice as the fight with Kevin Magnussen in Austin and the rain dance in Suzuka were, the sixth and seventh places were still only too few for the claims of the 34-year-old ex-world champion. Only because of the sometimes hopelessly bad results before Vettel could be happy about it.
And who knows: in 2024, Audi will join as the namesake for the Sauber team, and then in 2026 as the factory engine manufacturer for the Swiss. With the team in which Vettel made his training debut in Indanapolis in 2006 and his racing debut in 2007. So the bridge for a comeback would be there, right?
The beneficiaries of Vettel's development work will be another old master who, unlike his former rival, has a lot of desire for Aston Martin: Fernando Alonso. Not exactly known for his sensitivity to team changes, the 41-year-old could have done everything right with his surprising transfer from Alpine to Aston Martin.
In view of the overwhelming competition from Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull, Alonso has to say goodbye to the idea of a last world title anyway, but at Aston Martin the Spaniard has made a nest. In contrast to the situation at Alpine, the roles are clearly divided within the team: Lance Stroll as stable mate may be dad's favorite son, but for Alonso he's no more than an extra in his own garage. So it will be a one man show. And that's exactly what Alonso loves, as his times at Renault and Ferrari have shown.
Alonso and Aston Martin could therefore become a duo, with Sebastian Vettel in front of the television (if he is interested in a spectator role), but there could still be regrets about a premature end to his career.