Marko: Vettel should have taken a year off from F1 in 2021

Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko believes Sebastian Vettel should have taken a year off from Formula 1 in 2021 instead of joining Aston Martin.

Marko: Vettel should have taken a year off from F1 in 2021

After being dropped by Ferrari last year, four-time F1 world champion Vettel explored a number of options before ultimately signing with the rebranded Aston Martin squad for 2021.

Vettel endured a difficult debut for Aston Martin in Bahrain. After being knocked out in Q1 and receiving a grid penalty, the German driver finished 15th after a clash with Esteban Ocon that landed him a 10-second time penalty.

Aston Martin struggled to battle at the front of the midfield in Bahrain as it did throughout last year, with the team believing the updated regulations had hurt its low-rake car concept.

Asked about Vettel’s struggles, Marko said he had not changed his view that the former Red Bull driver should have taken a year out before returning under the new regulations in 2022.

“I was of the opinion, I told you that too, that he should take a year off, sort himself out, ask himself what he wants,” Marko said in an exclusive interview with Autosport German language sister site Formel1.de.

“I believe that a lot is possible within Formula 1 next year. He didn't do that. Now he sits in the Aston Martin, which of course suffers similar to the Mercedes [with low rake].

“They are very similar cars. And this race was far from being the one that could have brought relief.”

Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin AMR21

Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin AMR21

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

Despite largely freezing the technical regulations for 2021 in a bid to cut costs in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the FIA moved to reduce downforce levels and slow the cars down.

The main thrust of the downforce cut centred on the floors of the cars, and appears to have hurt the teams with low-rake car concepts more than those running high-rake set-ups.

Mercedes has also been hampered by the rule change, with Aston Martin team principal Otmar Szafnauer estimating it was worth around one second per lap.

Read Also:

Although Marko agreed that Aston Martin had been hurt by the rule changes, he felt it did not fully explain the performance gap the team now faced.

“Let's go back to the test where Mercedes had a very unstable rear end: Mercedes managed to stabilise that to a large extent,” Marko said.

“Whereas with Aston Martin, as far as I have seen, they have not succeeded to that extent. They will eventually get better handling together as well, but apparently not to the level of Mercedes.

“And that one-and-a-half seconds [to Mercedes], I would say, is not just with Vettel, it's partly in the car.

“At the moment, I think Aston Martin is in sixth or seventh place in the ranking. But with the Mercedes engine and with the possibilities they have now, they will surely move up.

“But that doesn't change anything. The crash when [Vettel] drove into Ocon was incomprehensible.”

shares
comments

Related video

Ocon: Alpine has ‘no margin’ in 2021 F1 battle for points 

Previous article

Ocon: Alpine has ‘no margin’ in 2021 F1 battle for points 

Next article

AlphaTauri eyes "nice step forward" by Spain in development push

AlphaTauri eyes "nice step forward" by Spain in development push
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Sebastian Vettel
Teams Aston Martin Racing
Author Luke Smith
The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull's title credentials, and heap pressure on Verstappen Plus

The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull's title credentials, and heap pressure on Verstappen

Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes led the way in Friday practice for the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix, but there was one big encouraging sign for Red Bull. The trouble is, it looks like making good on that gain will require its superstar driver to avoid repeating a mistake made today that left him well down the FP2 order

Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place Plus

Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place

Three points finishes from as many starts represents a decent opening innings on paper, but Daniel Ricciardo has endured a tough start to his McLaren career - only magnified his team-mate's excellent form. Yet both he and the team have good reason to expect a turnaround soon

Formula 1
May 6, 2021
What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors Plus

What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors

OPINION: Going up against the dominant force of Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton was always going to demand the best from Red Bull and Max Verstappen. But after making a couple more errors during the Portuguese Grand Prix, the Dutch driver showed there's a small gap he still needs to close in the 2021 Formula 1 title fight

Formula 1
May 5, 2021
The "subtle" Red Bull upgrades that kept it in the Portugal F1 mix Plus

The "subtle" Red Bull upgrades that kept it in the Portugal F1 mix

Red Bull's Portuguese Grand Prix fortunes were decidedly second best to Mercedes', but the result skews the potential that the team had at Portimao. With a new set of updates, the team looks good going forward into the rest of 2021's spicy F1 competition

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
Portuguese Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Portuguese Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The 2021 Portuguese GP will for several drivers go down as a weekend of missed opportunities amid imperfect track conditions that caused struggles with tyre warmup. But the performances of a select few stood out from the crowd

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
How Hamilton took a “completely different journey” to Portugal victory Plus

How Hamilton took a “completely different journey” to Portugal victory

Just as he did in 2020, Lewis Hamilton had to come from behind to win the 2021 Portuguese Grand Prix. Only this time there were two rivals he had to pass, among the several challenges he had to overcome, on his way to securing a 97th grand prix victory

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
The ‘big fish’ mentality that kept an Australian legend winning Plus

The ‘big fish’ mentality that kept an Australian legend winning

Frank Gardner was the veteran of just eight grand prix starts. It could have been more, but why waste his talent if the cars weren't up to it? NIGEL ROEBUCK recalls the life of one of racing's great characters

Formula 1
May 2, 2021
Why Todt’s FIA successor could be cut from the same cloth Plus

Why Todt’s FIA successor could be cut from the same cloth

Jean Todt has signalled that he will not stand for re-election as FIA president. MARK GALLAGHER analyses the strong credentials of one potential successor…

Formula 1
May 1, 2021