Sebastian Vettel confirms Racing Point talks but says no F1 contracts to sign yet
"The truth is that I don't have a contract to sign, I haven't signed anything for next year. It's not that close, as you think"
By James Galloway
Last Updated: 17/07/20 6:39am
Sebastian Vettel says he has held "loose talks" with Racing Point about 2021 - but insists he does not yet have a contract ready to sign to stay on the grid and that his Formula 1 future is currently 50-50.
Vettel arrived at the Hungarian GP on Thursday amid mounting speculation of a switch to Racing Point - which becomes Aston Martin next year - after it emerged there had been contact between the two parties.
Vettel did not deny that conversations have taken place, but made clear they represented "nothing more concrete than loose talks" at this stage.
And asked by Sky Sports what percentage of his future was sorted ahead of his departure from Ferrari at the end of the year, Vettel took a moment to contemplate his answer before replying: "50/50. Either I stay or I don't.
"The truth is that I don't have a contract to sign, I haven't signed anything for next year. It's not that close, as you think. If I was [close] I would tell you. Or maybe I wouldn't!
"But the truth is I am not so I don't think it will happen in the next couple of days. It will take a while for the full picture, see what there is. Then I need some time to myself to evaluate whether it is something I like or I don't like."
In the Thursday news conference at the Hungaroring, Vettel said some informal discussions had been held with Racing Point, who are owned by a consortium led by Canadian billionaire Lawrence Stroll.
"At this stage I think it's just talks," said Vettel. "I said last week I've been in talks with Renault for example, so it's all just talks.
"At a later stage with anyone then it would get a bit more concrete, but at this stage the truth is there is nothing to announce and nothing more concrete than loose talks."
Racing Point have stressed that both their current drivers, Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll, are under contract.
Would Racing Point/Aston Martin be of interest to Vettel?
While historically a midfield team, Racing Point have big ambitions into the future and will rebrand as Aston Martin in 2021 with the long-term aim of challenging the sport's big teams.
As Vettel remarked himself, "everybody is talking about Racing Point", with the Silverstone outfit making a fast start to the new season and their RP20 car attracting the ire of some of their rivals due to its likeness to last year's Mercedes.
Racing Point are also ahead of Vettel's current team, Ferrari, in the early-season pecking order.
"What I said [last week] is that I'm to here just to participate. I think I'm interested in competing, interested in achieving," said Vettel to Sky F1.
When's the Hungarian GP on Sky F1?
All the key TV times for Sky Sports F1 this weekend for round three of the 2020 season in Budapest.
"I feel I have achieved so much in this sport and if I am here to stay then I would like to achieve more.
"We all know at the moment who is the favourite [Mercedes] if you want to win so that's a no-brainer and probably that's not on the cards. But it's really to myself to make sure I have all the information on the table and see what there is and then make the decision. That is the truth. I'm not yet at that point, otherwise I would have made the decision already."
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