Sebastian Vettel may decide to retire from Formula One if he sees no prospect of improvement from his car soon.
That’s the view of Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko, who played a role in Vettel’s career as a young driver when he came up through the Red Bull Driver Development Programme.
Vettel’s Aston Martin has been distinctly uncompetitive this year so far, with the German driver recording just 15 points and having continuous struggles for pace.
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Vettel didn’t even make it into Q2 for this weekend’s Austrian GP qualifying, finishing last of the 20 cars in a new low point of his season.
Speaking to RTL Deutschland, Marko said: “If he [Vettel] doesn’t see any light at the end of this tunnel and he still has to fight to get into Q3 or the points, then I assume he will retire.
“His car is slow from the ground up.
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“A lot will depend on how the team develops the car.
“He will have a relatively competitive package if Aston Martin copy what is under the hood at Red Bull [Marko believes the two cars are similar].
“And if he has that, then I think he will continue.”
The season’s latest GP is at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, with the main race on Sunday.
Saturday sees the Sprint race take place, with Max Verstappen on pole for Red Bull after another impressive show of speed.
It was, by contrast, a disastrous qualifying for Mercedes who saw both their drivers – Lewis Hamilton and George Russell – crash out in the third session.
Verstappen leads the championship standings on 181 points, from teammate Sergio Perez on 147.
Ferrari pair Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz are in third and fourth respectively.
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