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Vettel may be Aston Martin’s backup plan to replace Stroll, but Krack didn’t confirm it



Aston Martin considers Vettel

Aston Martin waits for Stroll’s availability before deciding on a backup plan. Drugovich performed well, and Vettel could be a candidate.

Aston Martin is waiting to confirm Lance Stroll’s availability for the season opener in Bahrain before deciding on a backup plan, which could potentially include Sebastian Vettel as a candidate. Although Vettel retired from F1 at the end of the previous year to make way for Fernando Alonso, he did not entirely dismiss the idea of a one-time comeback during his farewell tour, specifically at the Suzuka circuit.

Following Stroll’s injury and absence from the pre-season Bahrain test, rumors circulated that Vettel could potentially substitute for him in the season opener. When asked about the possibility, Aston team principal Mike Krack did not dismiss the idea, although he did not confirm it either. Krack revealed that he had been in contact with Vettel, but did not disclose whether Vettel expressed any interest in racing as Stroll’s replacement.

Despite repeated questioning, Krack did not give a definitive answer and stated that no final decision had been made regarding Stroll’s replacement. When asked if Vettel could be a good option for the challenging Jeddah street circuit, where prior experience is essential, Krack deemed the scenario “highly hypothetical”. He also noted that Aston has had reserve driver Felipe Drugovich complete 117 laps in the AMR23 at the more conventional Bahrain circuit.

Krack also pointed out that Vettel had a well-thought-out retirement plan, which should be respected. He added that the team would wait and see how the situation develops before making any decisions regarding Stroll’s replacement for the season opener.

Krack emphasized that he did not have any information on Stroll’s injury and whether he would be able to race in the season opener. He previously refrained from divulging specifics about the injury during the test. As of now, Krack remains uncertain about Stroll’s availability for the first race.

Krack reiterated that their priority was to have Stroll back in the car for the season opener, and they were waiting for updates from Stroll and his doctors. He explained that they have multiple backup plans in place, but they would only decide on a specific “Plan B” if Stroll is unable to race. Krack revealed that Stroll would undergo a simulator test to assess his fitness, and the team would monitor his situation over the coming days. He likened the situation to football, where players with minor injuries are assessed closer to the game before making a final decision on their participation. However, Krack acknowledged that there was a deadline for entering a driver for the race weekend.


Felipe Drugovich

According to Krack, the team’s reserve driver, Felipe Drugovich, completed 117 laps in the AMR23 during the pre-season test in Bahrain, and his performance was positive. Although Krack did not rule out the possibility of Vettel replacing Stroll, he implied that the team was content with Drugovich as a backup option if necessary.

Krack acknowledged that Drugovich’s extended track time during the pre-season test could be interpreted as a sign that the team was taking precautions and preparing for any potential contingencies. He noted that the team had to do its due diligence since Stroll’s situation was not entirely clear, and they needed to have all their options covered.

Krack emphasized the importance of doing their due diligence and preparing Drugovich for any possible scenarios that might arise during the season. He praised Drugovich for his calm and reflective approach, noting that he did an excellent job during the pre-season test despite having no prior experience in the car. Krack further praised Drugovich’s faultless performance and the meticulous attention to detail he showed during his test runs. Overall, the team was happy with the job done by their reserve driver.

While it is true that Drugovich has no Formula One starts to his name, it is important to note that he is the team’s reserve driver for the season, and he has been selected for that role based on his performance and potential. In contrast, Stoffel Vandoorne has more experience in Formula One, having raced for McLaren in the past, and he has competed in three Bahrain Grand Prix weekends. However, as a reserve driver, Drugovich has been preparing himself for any possible race seat opportunities, and the team seems to be pleased with his progress during the pre-season test. Ultimately, the team will have to weigh their options carefully and decide on the best course of action if Stroll is unable to race.


Vandoorne was not present at the pre-season test, as he was racing in the Formula E Cape Town E-Prix, where he scored a season-best seventh place. However, he confirmed that he would be attending the Bahrain, Jeddah, and Melbourne GPs. Vandoorne expressed uncertainty about Stroll’s condition and whether he would be able to race. He also acknowledged that he had not been focusing on the potential backup driver situation due to his racing commitments. Krack did not provide a clear answer on whether Drugovich or Vandoorne would be prioritized in case one of them is needed, as it is a decision that the team would have to make in the coming days.


Aston Martin considers Vettel Aston Martin considers Vettel Aston Martin considers Vettel Aston Martin considers Vettel