New Aston Martin team principal Mike Krack has revealed he made no contact with Sebastian Vettel before taking the helm at the team to avoid F1's rumour mill from starting.
The former BMW head of engineering, operations and organisations for racing and testing has replaced Otmar Szafnauer ahead of the upcoming season, with Aston Martin's former team boss and CEO switching to Alpine.
Krack was chief engineer at BMW Sauber when Sebastian Vettel made his F1 debut in 2006, replacing the injured Robert Kubica for the United States Grand Prix.
Asked if he had contacted four-time champion Vettel before deciding to join Aston Martin to gather information about the team, Krack insisted he remained silent.
"I was not in touch with Seb before because I did not want to get biased with one opinion or whatever," he explained. "Also, I have to say, these discussions are very very confidential.
"You must not talk to anyone about these things when you are in negotiation and the companies are very, very strict about this.
"This is also rightly so because otherwise immediately, as you have in football, these rumours you have about people moving and people going here or there.
"So from that point of view, I strictly stuck to what we had agreed in terms of confidentiality."