It’s no great secret that the opening race didn’t go well for either Aston Martin or Sebastian Vettel. We know it was only the opening race but with an added 5 penalty points on his license it was a particularly bad day for Seb. Although I think it will take a few races for him to get to grips with the new team and car, plus as a massive Seb fan I have every drop of optimism that he’ll get on form again. However given the awful season he had in 2020 it has caused some, including Helmet Marko, to suggest that he should have taken a year off.
Prefer to watch?
It’s obvious that Sebastian didn’t have the best season in 2020, which is the understatement of the decade, but still, it was a rough year. I think this was to be expected given the factors involved. First of all was the toxic environment at the team and this can’t be better knowing you’re leaving. Imagine being told at the start of the year you’re getting fired in December, would you really put much effort in. All of this combined with what was a massively underpowered machine didn’t help the situation.
However we don’t need to go back very far to understand why Sebastian was a four time world champion. It was only 3 years ago in 2018 when he was in a full on title fight with Hamilton and I don’t think he is out of his prime just yet. I think he’s just been in a bad head space since Hockenheim 2018, which he never really recovered from. Well then starting with a fresh team instead of a Sabbatical might be best right?
The Argument For
When it comes to the reasons why I think that Seb should have taken a gap year its pretty straight forward. I agree that it can be hard for a Formula 1 driver to come back to the sport. However I think far less for a driver who is statistically the third best in the history of the sport and a four time world champion. I personally do think that the year off could have given him the headspace he would have needed to really sit back and figure out what went wrong and come back swinging in 2022 for the new regulations.
There’s also a bigger reason. I genuinely believe that Christian Horner had a vision to bring back Seb for the new regulations, with Seb and Max going all in to destroy Mercedes in a Rosberg/Hamilton style domination. Obviously the “and then come home” remark in Drive to Survive adds to this. However now that Perez is in Red Bull, I’m leaning more to the against. So let’s discuss that.
The Argument Against
Since the beginning of the 2021 seasons, back at testing, I’ve been starting to think more positively about Seb’s move to Aston Martin. While a Red Bull reunion would have been epic, I don’t think it would have played out as expected. While I think that Aston will not have a particularly strong season, Lawrence Stroll seems to be backing this for the long term. So I think they are going to come out swinging with the more level playing field of 2022.
I also get the feeling that Otmar and Seb have discussed this. Vettel will be given the benefit of the doubt, a season to learn the team, the atmosphere and try get some points in without stress. He’ll be given the room to breath, the room to play without massive expectations and more importantly:
A chance to get a podium in a car that doesn’t deserve one.
This is Seb’s chance to show the world, like the Honey Badger, he can “get a f**king podium boys”