Red Bull Racing boss Christian Horner has flatly denied its four-time F1 World Championship winning driver Sebastian Vettel will make a return to the team for the 2021 F1 season, closing another significant door for the outgoing Ferrari driver.

Vettel – who clinched all four F1 world titles between 2010 and 2013 with Red Bull – is currently without a drive for the 2021 season after being axed by Ferrari during the prolonged off-season.

However, the German is now facing up to increasingly limited options after Renault opted to sign Fernando Alonso, while Mercedes is expected to retain both Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas.

As such, attention has turned to Red Bull over whether it could re-sign Vettel in place of Alex Albon, who is also yet to firm up his plans for 2021.

However, with the Thai driver considered a hot prospect for the future, Red Bull’s Horner says it is the team’s intention to nurture the youngster for the future alongside Max Verstappen rather than look to the past.

“Obviously the topic has been raised,” Horner admitted to Sky Sports F1 when asked about rumoured discussions about Vettel.

“We had a brilliant time with Seb and he will forever be a part of our history. We didn’t expect him to be on the market this year and our commitment is to our existing drivers, we think we have a great pairing in Max and Alex and we think that has big potential for the future.

“Unfortunately, it is not something we are going to be able to accommodate. That is a definite no, I’m afraid [and] Sebastian is aware of that.”

With McLaren also out of the question, it leaves Racing Point – soon-to-become Aston Martin Racing – as the most competitive team on the grid that could potentially offer Vettel a lifeline.

However, even then Sergio Perez is under contract for 2021 and Lance Stroll – the son of team owner Lawrence Stroll – is almost certain to stay on board.

Nonetheless, Horner speculates Vettel’s availability may cause Racing Point to consider its option with Perez if it means it can get one of F1’s most successful racers on board.

“It’s unusual for a four-time World champion to be out of a drive at this point in the year so I guess he has couple of choices available to him, assuming Racing Point or a year out and evaluate the options.

“I don’t think Lance will go far [but] drivers’ contracts between the teams, you never know what is in them, it’s only the contract recognition holder that has full sight of them so I’m sure there are options or break points but that is none of our business.”

 

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