Sebastian Vettel has revealed Aston Martin's F1 title potential lay at the heart of his decision to continue with the team in 2022.
The four-time champion recently agreed to take up the option in his contract that will see him again partner Lance Stroll next season.
Asked if signing for another year was ever really in doubt, Vettel said: "Not really in the end. The excitement for next year, the new car, the new regs, where the team is going, it looks very promising.
“We don’t know until next year but it is great to be part of it. I don’t know if there’s a timing line in general when people expect an answer or not.
"There were lots of things in my mind, but what matters, in the end, is going forward it’s clear what is going to happen.”
Vettel dreaming of more world titles
The team has committed to building new headquarters near to its current Silverstone for early 2023 and has been heavily hiring, with its latest recruit former McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh.
Vettel believes this investment and commitment, coupled with new regulations for 2022 that could upset the order, meant it was worth agreeing to stay, while he has also hinted at a longer-term future if things play out well next season.
Asked what made him decide to stay, he said: “The driving. The competitiveness. Obviously, I love driving, I love winning, so next year a lot of things are changing. I don’t think anybody is guaranteed to win.
“I think the spirit of the team is great, I like the guys, it has been a great season, not maybe in terms of results but in terms of working. Morale is high. So a lot of things excite me.
“It [the possibility of winning titles] does [excite me], otherwise I wouldn’t be here. [The target of] four or five years is fair in terms of looking back to other teams, how long it took other teams to climb to the top.
“The vision the team has is impressive and the commitment is very high, so it might be less but you never know it might be longer. But I feel that where the team is going in a very promising direction and it will happen.
“Time will tell. I am not getting younger, it is not my first year in Formula 1, so we will see what happens.”