How likely would it be for four-time Formula 1 world champion Sebastian Vettel to return to Red Bull Racing next year alongside Max Verstappen? Christian Horner can’t see it happening.
Arguably the biggest news of the delayed 2020 Formula 1 season came out last week when four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel announced that he and Ferrari would not be continuing their relationship beyond 2020.
Shortly thereafter, it was confirmed that Carlos Sainz Jr. would leave McLaren to replace the 32-year-old German at the Scuderia and the Daniel Ricciardo would leave Renault to replace Sainz at the Woking-based team.
But Vettel did not and still has not signed a new deal to compete in Formula 1 next year, and there is growing speculation that he may retire.
However, along with rumors that he may replace Ricciardo at Renault and rumors that he may end up in one of the two open seats at Mercedes, one possibility that makes some sense is a return to Red Bull Racing, where he won his four world titles in consecutive years from 2010 to 2013.
Last July, Vettel was driving for Ferrari on the same deal that is slated to end after the 2020 season, and there was already mounting speculation about his future.
Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner even heated up rumors that Vettel might perhaps return to the team next year.
Here is what Horner had to say at the time, according to Express.
“We have great memories of Sebastian’s time with us. He is part of our history. He won four titles and many, many races together with us, including Red Bull’s first win in Formula 1. We have a special relationship with Sebastian. Although he is now with Ferrari, he still comes to see the mechanics very often, he knows most of the faces here and is still a friend of the team. He was very happy for us at the Red Bull Ring.”
Now with Vettel officially slated to become a free agent and no longer tied to Ferrari after the 2020 season, this rumor has re-emerged. However, Horner does not believe that there is much of a chance Vettel will return to the Milton Keynes-based team for a second stint next year.
He does not believe that Vettel’s personality would work well with that of Max Verstappen, who the team recently signed to a long-term deal through the 2023 season.
He believes that there is already a great dynamic within the team with Verstappen alongside Alexander Albon, who replaced Pierre Gasly after 12 of the 21 races on last year’s schedule, and he believes that Albon is doing a solid job.
Here is what Horner had to say about the possibility of bringing back Vettel next year, according to RACER.
“I think it’s enormously unlikely. We have a long-term agreement with Max. Alex is doing a good job. We’ve got a good dynamic within the team. Experience shows that two alpha males, it doesn’t tend to pan out well. Sebastian is still a very competitive grand prix driver. I don’t think it would be conducive for our team to have two alphas. We’re happy with the driver line-up we have.”
Even if Albon doesn’t pan out at the team in what is slated to be his first full season there this year, Red Bull Racing do have options within the organization at sister team AlphaTauri (formerly Toro Rosso). Both AlphaTauri drivers, Gasly and Daniil Kvyat, are former Red Bull Racing drivers who were demoted from the team, but both have done a solid job in lesser equipment.
With Red Bull Racing seemingly off the table for Sebastian Vettel next year, where will he end up? Will he be back in Formula 1 at all in 2021?