Aston Martin team principal Mike Krack has not ruled out a surprise return for Sebastian Vettel if Lance Stroll is unable to compete at the Bahrain Grand Prix.
Stroll suffered injuries in what Aston Martin described as a “minor” accident while cycling in Spain nearly a week ago, ruling him out of pre-season testing. Krack has since confirmed that the Canadian’s hand and wrist are a point of concern, but that Stroll intends to test drive the simulator this week to see if he can return to the car for the opening round of the season.
Felipe Drugovich completed two pre-season test sessions for Aston Martin in Bahrain but was not confirmed by Krack as the team’s ideal replacement. Asked if Vettel, who will retire at the end of 2022, had said he could return to the team at some point, Krack added: “I won’t tell you.
When it was suggested that Vettel might have picked up some hunger to return for the winter break, Krack, who admitted: “I had a couple of phone calls with Sebastian, but this was last year as well and this will continue in the future. he says the four-time world champion had compromises when it came to life after Formula 1.
“But don’t forget one thing: he had a very, very complete plan in mind for his retirement, and I think this is also something you have to respect. Let’s see what’s going on.”
The team boss admitted that Drugovich’s track time was used to assess the Brazilian should Stroll need to be replaced, but that it was not a definitive back-up, with Stoffel Vandoorne also on Aston’s books as the team He prioritizes his racing driver. .
“Yes, you can read something on it (executing Drugovich). The team has to do their homework. We have a situation that is not 100 percent clear. From that point of view, you do your homework and you also have one of your reserve drivers who is available, who is here, to prepare you for the case that is necessary.
“I don’t know (Drugovich’s chances) at this point. I honestly don’t know at this point. It’s our Plan A, obviously, that we want to get Lance back in the car. But we have to wait (and see) what he says and what the doctors say.
“We have some Plan Bs. We have to decide on Plan B when Plan A is done.”
Click here for a 20% discount on an annual subscription to F1 TV Pro. Offer ends at 6:59pm ET on Sunday, February 26, 2023. Not available in French territories, Belgium, Brazil and Sweden.