With Sebastian Vettel signed up at Aston Martin for 2022, team owner Lawrence Stroll is hopeful that the four-time World Champion will put pen to paper on a longer-term deal next time around.
Vettel joined Aston Martin from Ferrari at the end of 2020, a somewhat badly-timed move as the team formerly known as Racing Point fell down the order this season. However, with new regulations on the way and a stable financial base now established, 2022 looks promising for Stroll's squad.
Vettel's re-commitment for 2022 was only announced last month, after delays in contract negotiations, and team boss Otmar Szafnauer has previously indicated that they'd like to secure his signature at an earlier stage next season.
Stroll explained that his relationship with Vettel has been strong as they've got to know each other in recent years, and that convincing him to join the team as they began the process of building up was crucial for success.
"I think it was a perfect storm for both Sebastian and us [when his Ferrari departure was announced in 2020]," Stroll told Formula 1's Beyond the Grid podcast.
"Sebastian and I have known each other for a while. He understood very clearly my passion and plans for the team.
"When we became Aston Martin, it wasn't transformative in name only, it was transformative in the direction and the plans of the business, and the direction the business was going in.
"We were recruiting over 250 new people and it is not just the quantity but the quality, and it is all about bringing Aston Martin back to winning World Championships.
"It is a journey and it is a journey that doesn't take a day, a week or even a year, it is a journey that is going to take several years, and Sebastian wanted to be a part of that journey, and be at the forefront of that journey."
With Aston Martin signing former McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh as their new Group CEO to oversee the entire Aston Martin operation, including the F1 team, the seeds have been planted with the aim of success in the next couple of years. Stroll is hopeful that having Vettel's race-winning experience will help in that process.
"Obviously, to have a four-time World Champion and the experience he can bring to the team, which has never won a World Championship... so the way to think and to act," Stroll explained.
"For Sebastian, it really was a beginning of a new journey, of this new team coming to life, and he wanted to be part of it for the beginning, and hopefully will remain forever in one way, shape or form."
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