Vettel could be ‘Plan B’ for Aston Martin if Stroll can’t race in Bahrain · RaceFans

Sebastian Vettel could make a shock return to Formula 1 following his retirement last year if Aston Martin require a replacement for Lance Stroll.

The team was unable to run Stroll during the three days of pre-season testing which concluded today in Bahrain after he injured his hands in a cycling accident.

Aston Martin team principal Mike Krack said they still hope Stroll will be able to return in time for next weekend’s race. “It’s our Plan A,” he told media including RaceFans in Bahrain today.

Reserve driver Felipe Drugovich has done two half-days in the team’s AMR23 and is one option for the team should Stroll be unavailable. The team’s other reserve driver is Stoffel Vandoorne, who was unable to participate in testing as he was competing in a Formula E round in South Africa.

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Krack said either of those drivers could be the “Plan B” for Aston Martin. “We have some plan Bs, but we have to decide the plan B when the plan A is not possible.”

“It is something that we will have to discuss in the next days,” he added.

Asked whether recalling Vettel, who spent two seasons with Aston Martin before his retirement, was an option for the team, Krack said: “The plan B, we said already, that we will speak about next week.”

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Krack would not confirm whether Vettel expressed an interest in returning. “I have had a couple of phone calls with Sebastian,” he admitted, “but this has been also last year, and this will continue in the future.”

If Vettel were to return he would be partnered with his former championship rival Fernando Alonso. Vettel beat Alonso to the world championship in 2010 and 2012 when the pair drove for Red Bull and Ferrari respectively.

Alonso jumped at the opportunity to replace Vettel in Aston Martin’s line-up after the four-times world champion announced his retirement. Krack said the pair were markedly different characters, despite both being multiple champions.

“It’s very, very difficult to compare. Both are very, very fast drivers. Both have been world champions. But one is Latin, one is German so I think it’s difficult to really compare.

“Both have their own ways of communicating. Both have their own ways of handling, of dealing with the team. And I think it’s unfair to say one is better or is worse in these kind of areas. They are both great champions.”

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