Sebastian Vettel has opened discussions with Racing Point to drive for the rebranded Aston Martin Formula 1 team in 2021, according to reports in Germany.

Vettel’s future in F1 has looked uncertain ever since Ferrari announced the four-time world champion would be leaving upon the expiry of his contract at the end of the year, before confirming McLaren driver Carlos Sainz as his replacement.

A subsequent domino effect in the 2021 driver market has left Vettel with seemingly few options of landing a seat for next season.

Mercedes is yet to announce its line-up but is expected to continue with Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas, while Daniel Ricciardo’s McLaren switch and Fernando Alonso’s F1 comeback with Renault have closed other avenues.

Red Bull has also insisted it is not looking outside of its current drivers, with team boss Christian Horner playing down suggestions it could re-sign Vettel to rekindle its highly-successful partnership that claimed four successive world championship doubles in the early 2010s.

It has since emerged that Vettel has been offered a contract by Racing Point team owner Lawrence Stroll for when his squad rebrands to Aston Martin next year.

According to Germany’s Bild newspaper and Sky Germany, a deal could be agreed and concluded soon.

Speaking at last weekend’s Styrian Grand Prix in Austria, Racing Point team principal Otmar Szafnauer all but ruled out a move for Vettel, pointing to the fact both Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll are tied down to long-term contracts.

“Like I've said before, it's flattering that everyone this that a four-time world champion would come to our team, but maybe that's because the car is a bit quicker now,” he said.

"We have long contracts with both our drivers, so it would only be logical that we don't have space.”

While Stroll is naturally well-placed given his father owns the team, Perez’s seat looked to be safe considering that he brings substantial backing to the Silverstone outfit, as well as playing a pivotal role in setting off the administration process that ultimately led to Stroll’s takeover.

But the reports have suggested that Perez’s contract may include a break clause that would enable Racing Point to make a change before his deal runs out at the end of 2022.

The Mexican only agreed fresh terms with Racing Point last year.

Such a scenario would leave Perez suddenly scrabbling to secure a new drive for 2021, with little in the way of competitive options available to him.

 

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