F1 Grand Prix of Brazil - Previews

Aston Martin team principal Mike Krack spoke to the media after the preseason test in Bahrain. He admitted calling Sebastian Vettel amidst a hunt to replace Lance Stroll for the opening races in 2023.

The Canadian, who has sustained injuries from a bicycle incident, missed the preseason test and does not have clearance to race.

Asked by Motorsport Network if they were considering the four-time world champion to return, Krack said:

“I have had a couple of phone calls with Sebastian. But this has been also last year, and this will continue in the future.”

Asked if the German had shown interest in driving, the Aston Martin team principal said:

“I will not tell you.”

Asked if Stroll wasn’t fit or ready for the Saudi Arabian race, Krack said:

“I mean, this is very, very hypothetical. First of all, our plan is to have Lance in the car. And then we continue to see because we have Bahrain first before we speak about Jeddah. We have not made the final decision. That’s the point.”

If Seb did return these two would be teammates 🤯What an ABSOLUTELY LEGENDARY line-up 🐐🐐 https://t.co/obixRIHaSk

While the journalists present at the Bahrain preseason test pressed upon Sebastian Vettel as being considered an option, Krack did not rule it out completely.

The Aston Martin team principal admitted to having a conversation with the German champion but refused to reveal details of the conversation. The Silverstone team have not revealed the details of Stroll’s injuries either, but Krack insisted their priority was trying to get the Canadian back into the car.

Apart from the print media reporting a potential return of Sebastian Vettel, David Croft of Sky Sports F1 was heard mentioning during the test broadcast that the German was in touch with the Silverstone team.

Further asked about a potential Sebastian Vettel return, Krack said:

“Don’t forget one thing. He had a very, very thorough plan in mind for his retirement. And, you know, I think this is also something that you have to respect. So let’s see what’s happening.”

Aston Martin reveal the reason for considering Sebastian Vettel or potential replacements for Lance Stroll

Mike Krack revealed that Lance Stroll has not received clearance to race just yet and that the situation is very unclear. The Aston Martin team principal denied having any knowledge of the extent of the injuries.

While Sebastian Vettel has not been completely ruled out, Krack insisted that everything depends on Stroll’s recovery from his injuries.

Asked about Stroll’s situation, the Aston Martin team principal said:

“I honestly don’t know at this point. He’s our Plan A obviously, we want to have Lance back in the car, but we have to wait, what he says and what the doctors are saying in the right moment. There are certain delays or certain limits that you have to give to the FIA, and then we will respect this.”

He continued:

“We’ll have to see how the situation is developing over the next day. It’s like in football, you have players that are a little bit injured, and you wait for the last moment, and then you decide if they can play or not.”

Asked whether they had a contingency plan if Stroll needed a replacement, Krack replied:

“The Plan B we have to decide. We have some Plan Bs, but we have to decide the Plan B when the Plan A is not possible. It’s very simple. Can he drive or can he not drive?”

Asked if Stroll had tried the simulator at the factory, Krack said:

“Not yet, he will go. It’s the first step.”

If Stroll does not recover from his injuries, Felipe Drugovich and Stoffel Vandoorne are options. However, with his Formula E commitments, it will be very difficult for the Belgian to be available.

With the extent of the Canadian’s injuries unknown, it is difficult to speculate how the situation will unfold. But if Sebastian Vettel were to return, it would be a dream pairing to have his oldest championship contender, Fernando Alonso, as his teammate.

The German, who retired after the 2022 season, will be the perfect fit to replace the injured Canadian, as he has been well versed with the team and its environment.

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