Sebastian Vettel has revealed he held tentative talks with Renault over the prospect of a drive for the 2021 Formula 1 season, as he issued a come and get me plea to Red Bull and Aston Martin.

Vettel has already been confirmed as leaving Ferrari when his current contract expires at the end of the year and currently does not have a drive lined up for the 2021 season.

Fernando Alonso’s shock return to F1 with Renault for next year has closed the door on one of the possible landing spots for Vettel, and the four-time world champion said he approached the Enstone-based squad but stressed nothing was “concrete”.

“I’ve been such a long time in the paddock that I knew a couple of people, yes I did [hold talks with Renault], but at no point [were they] concrete enough - not fundamental talks or real talks,” Vettel said.

“As you’ve seen, they’ve gone a different direction, so yeah, it doesn’t change much for me. It really depends on my decisions which I’m not pressured to take in the next couple of days, I want to take the time I need to decide.”

Despite Red Bull continually playing down links for a reunion with Vettel for 2021, the German continues to find himself linked with a return to the team with whom he won four successive titles between 2010 and 2013 as a possible replacement for Alex Albon if he fails to perform as the team expects this year.

He made an appearance on German broadcaster Servus TV alongside Max Verstappen following last weekend’s Austrian Grand Prix where the pair discussed the possibility of becoming team-mates.

Asked if he would accept a Red Bull drive if offered, Vettel replied: “It’s a winning car and as I said earlier I’m here to compete, I’m here to win, so probably the answer would be yes.

“I’m of the conviction that if you want to win you have to be happy to take on anyone so I don’t think it is question of your potential team mate no matter where you will find yourself.

“I obviously again know the team very very well from my past, of course I’m still in contact with a lot of people there, whether it is Christian, Helmut or others.

“The appearance in Servus TV had nothing to do with that or potential future but Red Bull has a winning car, I believe so, they are a very strong team, I know how strong they are from the past, I know they have evolved.

“It is not fair to say I know the team inside out because it also has changed and moved on, but I know why they were strong back then and they are still I think a contender and it’s a car you can win races in so for sure that would be interesting.”

However, Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko has denied any intention to bring Vettel back to Red Bull according to a report in Auto Motor und Sport.

While Vettel stressed he is yet to make a decision about his future, he was also questioned on the possibility of a move to Racing Point when it rebrands to Aston Martin for 2021, though he refused to give a firm answer.

Such a move is unlikely given Sergio Perez is on a long-term deal, while Lance Stroll’s billionaire father Lawrence owns the Silverstone-based outfit.

Speaking about the Racing Point/Aston Martin project, Vettel said: I think Racing Point left a very strong impression, and certainly are in a good place for this year.

“I know part of the team, I know some members of the team quite well from my past and for a long time, so I think it’s obviously a good opportunity for them this year to have a good car to fight with and try and improve from there.”

 

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