Red Bull's Helmut Marko has revealed that he wanted Sebastian Vettel to take 2021 off and return to the sport in 2022 when the new regulations come into play and possibly he would have seats at Mercedes and Red Bull.
"It was clear that Sebastian would have a difficult season with Ferrari. I didn't want him to act rashly, but to wait because it was clear to me that fundamental things would change in the driver market for 2022," said the Red Bull advisor.
"For example, I was sure that there would be a vacancy at Mercedes then. But not only there. That also included Red Bull. I just wanted him to still be on the market at the right time so he could take the best possible offer, " he explained.
"Above all, I didn't want a four-time World Champion to say goodbye to Formula One like that. Not as a friend, and not as a Red Bull man," the Austrian added.
Marko added that when Ferrari told Vettel that his contract wasn't going to be renewed beyond 2021, at the time Red Bull had assumed that Alex Albon would've elevated his performances. That's why he wasn't offered an option to return.
"At the time, we firmly assumed that Alexander Albon would develop positively so that he would also be able to drive alongside Max Verstappen in 2021. That's what I told Sebastian. Unfortunately, we were wrong," he said.
"When we had to act, Sebastian was no longer on the list because he had made a long-term commitment to Aston Martin. Therefore, Sergio Perez was the logical decision for us," revealed Marko.
Marko said that he understood why Vettel joined the Aston Martin marquee as it was an iconic brand and has secured close corporation with Mercedes which has dominated the sport for the last 6 years.