Racing Point Formula 1 chief Otmar Szafnauer says the team has no plans to sign a new driver when it transitions into the Aston Martin works squad in 2021. 

Four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel has been linked with a potential move to the rebranded team when his current contract expires at Ferrari at the end of the year, with uncertainty remaining over the German's future in the sport.

But with Sergio Perez contracted to the Silverstone-based outfit until the end of 2022, and Lance Stroll's seat also believed to be secure for the coming years given his father owns the team, Szafnauer stressed there will be no "headline" moves aside from a team name change. 

"It’s certainly been an interesting few weeks in the driver market, with some headline-grabbing moves out there," Szafnauer said. 

"I’m sure it’s kept the fans entertained and the media busy – but from our perspective, the headline for next season is the name above the factory doors rather than the names in the cockpit."

F1 confirmed the heavily-delayed 2020 season will begin with the Austrian Grand Prix on July 5, kicking off a run of eight European-based races in the space of just 10 weeks. 

There will be just two weekends without a grand prix between July 5 and September 6, but Szafnauer believes teams are up for the challenge of a hectic and demanding schedule. 

"It’s going to be an intense few months for us all,” Szafnauer explained.

“But a great deal of thought has gone into this calendar from all relevant stakeholders – including the teams, Formula 1, the FIA, the circuit owners and so on.

“We’re all in agreement that the proposed plan is manageable and, knowing what I know of our team, they’ll relish the challenge.

“At the end of the day, we’re all racers. This is our passion and we’re excited to get back to it.

“I applaud the work that has been done by all stakeholders over the past three months to get us back racing,” he added.

“Safety is paramount and we’re all treating our return to the racetrack responsibly. While clearly it won’t be the same without the fans in the grandstands – and we’ll sorely miss their enthusiasm and support – it’s entirely sensible to start the season behind closed doors.

“Doing so in Austria is particularly positive for us as a team given our ties to the country with BWT, so we’re very much looking forward to it.”

 

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