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Vettel's age will not stop Aston Martin title charge

Vettel's age will not stop Aston Martin title charge

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Vettel's age will not stop Aston Martin title charge

Vettel's age will not stop Aston Martin title charge

Aston Martin driver Sebastian Vettel has insisted his age will not be the deciding factor in whether he becomes Formula 1 champion for a fifth time.

Team owner Lawrence Stroll has indicated his desire for the team - rebranded from Racing Point over the winter - to become world championship contenders, with team principal Otmar Szafnauer putting a three-to-five-year timestamp on any aspirations.

When asked if he would be able to see out such a time period to contend for another title, 33-year-old Vettel replied: “I think I can. Obviously, I am not too old. There are now older drivers joining the grid rather than younger drivers.

“I don’t think it’s an age thing. I just think it’s more of a question of, do you have the team around you?

"Formula 1 has been like this since I can remember and probably before. It is not a secret in the last years that you needed to be in a Mercedes to really fight for the championship.

“I think we were close with Ferrari but never really close enough to have a say in the last two or three races so I don’t think it’s an age thing. I think it’s [another world title] in me.

"It’s been in me and was probably a big relief winning the first championship [in 2010], knowing you can do it and since then I don’t see why it is not there anymore."

F1 sees the biggest change of regulations in modern times next season with a radical new aerodynamic design gracing the grid, aiming to increase competition for race victories and enable closer, wheel-to-wheel racing.

With such a change lying in wait, the German driver, who won his four titles with Red Bull, has theorised the wait for Aston Martin to become a championship-contending entity could be shorter than expected.

“Obviously, it is Formula 1 changing at the same time so maybe - time will tell - you don’t need those three-to-five years anymore," Vettel explained.

"Maybe it will shrink and that is the goal for everyone, to be a bit closer to the top and not just be on the podium because you got lucky that the guys at the front retired or crashed, but this time [you earned it] for real.

“We will see how Formula 1 changes in the next years. Age-wise I think I have a long time in me but then it depends, in all honesty, on the circumstances of the sport and how things are going in the near future.”

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