Aston Martin has announced Sebastian Vettel and Lance Stroll will remain its Formula 1 driver line-up for the 2022 season.
The Aston Martin name returned to F1 grid this year after more than 60 years following the rebranding of the Racing Point outfit.
The British car manufacturer showed its intention to build a successful grand prix team by hiring four-time world champion Vettel from Ferrari, but has struggled to build on from its fourth-placed finish in 2020.
Rule changes to the design of the floor put Aston Martin with its low-rake concept at a disadvantage, leaving it currently seventh in the constructors’ championship after 14 races.
But the team secured Aston Martin’s first-ever podium finish in F1 at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, repeating the feat in Hungary only to be disqualified for a fuel irregularity.
Speaking about announcement it will continue with the same driver line-up next year, Aston Martin team boss Otmar Szafnaeur said: “Lance is one of the most gifted drivers in modern Formula One, and to that raw talent he is now adding serious racecraft.
“A four-time world champion, having driven 271 Grands Prix, of which he has won 53, Sebastian is also a massive asset to our team, and next year we expect both of them to race well in what will be a very different formula from the current one.
“We never under-estimate our opposition, so we do not intend to over-promise, but we know that Lance and Sebastian will get the very best from the tools we will put at their disposal.”
Chief executive Lawrence Stroll felt despite a naturally “disappointing start” to the season, both Vettel and Stroll had delivered some strong results.
“The first ever season for Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One™ Team got off to a disappointing start, owing to the regulatory changes over the winter that disadvantaged the two teams whose cars utilise a low-rake aero philosophy,” Stroll said.
“But we have made good progress over the past few months, and both Lance and Sebastian have delivered some excellent performances. They have had more than their fair share of bad luck, but in 2022 we are delighted to be continuing with such an excellent blend of youthful talent and experienced expertise.”
Next year will see the arrival of the all-new generation F1 cars that have been designed with the intention of creating closer racing.
Vettel shared his excitement to race the 2022 car, believing Aston Martin can take full advantage of the new rules to fight at the front of the field.
“I am really looking forward to racing the new generation of Formula One cars. Their look is very different and the new technical regulations should give us cars that can race much more closely than recently,” Vettel said.
“More exciting racing will be great for the drivers as well as for the fans. The changes are so big that every team will be starting from a new beginning, so it will be a great opportunity for us at Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One™ Team. I believe in the strength of our new growing team, so I am already looking forward to 2022.”
Vettel’s team-mate Stroll added: “Next season I will be embarking on my sixth year in Formula One, alongside my team-mate Sebastian.
“We started this Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One™ Team campaign together and I greatly look forward to continuing the journey with him next year. We have not achieved what we set out to do this year, but that has only amplified our hunger and drive for success next season.
“Now, with the prestige and support of Aston Martin, and the brilliant new sponsor-partners that such a prestigious brand has attracted, we are well positioned to improve our performance in 2022.”