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Former F1 chief Bernie Ecclestone believes Sebastian Vettel should try his hand at Red Bull again, just to prove how quick he still is. Vettel won his four world titles with Red Bull, his last coming in 2013 before the team announced the German would be leaving the team at the end of 2014 to join Scuderia Ferrari, one year before his contract was due to expire.
Despite a few strong seasons with Ferrari, the relationship seemingly turned sour and Vettel left the team at the end of the 2021 season to join Aston Martin.
But at 34, there has been some debate over whether the German should retire, but the former F1 supremo reckons he should consider partnering Max Verstappen at Red Bull.
However, when asked about when Vettel should leave the sport, Ecclestone told Sport1.de: “When he feels like it. He shouldn’t be told he’s got to retire.
“We don’t know how quick he is anymore because he’s not in a competitive car – so it’s not easy to say he’s not as quick as he used to be.
“He needs to be back in Red Bull, actually.”
Vettel admitted last season that he had considered retiring before he spoke to Aston Martin, with nearly a decade separating him from his last world championship win.
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“Of course, sometimes you ask yourself the question of meaning. I’d be lying if I said the thought hadn’t crossed my mind yet,” said Vettel during an interview with F1-Insider, when asked how long he intends to remain in Formula One.
“But I don’t go on just to convey messages. Then I wouldn’t be true to myself and I wouldn’t be as good.
“If I no longer feel the inner drive and ambition and only stick to it to convey messages or increase the bank balance, that would be a betrayal of the generation that is yet to come and live the dream.
“After all, I can still take care of certain issues when I’m no longer driving. But the fire is still burning.”
In 2021, Aston Martin finished seventh in the Constructors’ Championship, a mighty 65 points behind Red Bull’s junior team Alpha Tauri.
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The team would have had significantly more points to the end of the season had Vettel not been stripped of his second-place finish in Hungary for a fuel irregularity, with the German finishing 12th in the driver standings.
When asked if he felt Aston Martin could be up fighting with the likes of Mercedes or Red Bull, Vettel replied: “As a sportsman, I get annoyed and do everything I can to make it faster. But it’s not life-threatening, that’s true. In that sense, it’s a luxury problem.
“That doesn’t mean, however, that I don’t want to do everything in my own little sporting microcosm to win. Otherwise, it would no longer make sense.
“The motivation is there, we are trying to improve together and the team is trying to turn everything around that is possible.
“The new rules offer a great opportunity in 2022. But we also have to remain realistic and not talk about being favourites, but look at how good our car is.”
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