Vettel to retire after 2021! - Lawrence Stroll holds out hope
Sebastian Vettel has recently announced that he will retire after the 2021 season. It has come as a huge shock to the whole F1 community including Aston Martin team boss Lawrence Stroll. The business man has spoken out to the press and has revealed that the team will hold the seat until after the season.
„We want Sebastian to know that we will keep the seat free for him until after the last race. We want Sebastian in our car for a few more years and we hope he changes his mind“.
However reliable sources suggest that Aston Martin is thinking about a replacement driver and there are a few famous names in the ring.
George Russell, whose contract with Williams is running out after this season and who will not become the new Mercedes driver as Valtteri Bottas’ and Lewis Hamilton’s contracts have been extended until 2023, might be considered. The young Brit has proven himself in a Mercedes in the Sakhir GP 2020, but Mercedes management want him to gain some more experience in a better car than he can get at Williams.
Another name would be Nico Hulkenberg. The German who holds the record for most races without a podium has shown last year that the Racing Point (now Aston Martin) car is just right for him in two extraordinary weekends when he got P3 in Qualifying and a DNS in the race in the first leg of the British GP 2020 and when he showed an absolutely show stopping drive from P20 to P8 in the German GP 2020.
There might also be a grand return in the works. Since Red Bull has already confirmed that Alex Albon will get another chance in the 2022 Season, Sergio Perez is once again out of a seat. He knows the team and the car and might be exactly what Aston Martin needs.
However officials from Aston Martin Racing maintain that the seat will be filled after the season and that it will be Vettel’s should he change his mind.
„Good morning, come on, wake up!“.
„Angela, what the hell? Our flight doesn’t leave for hours“ Lewis yells and buries his head in a pillow. He deserves the rest. He won the race yesterday and now he wants to chill out for a day until the madness starts again.
„Flight? Lewis? Are you alright?“ Angela yells back.
„Yes. Flight. Home. Today“. It’s not that he has a headache, it’s just that he’s tired and exhausted and for some reason he can’t see the trophy on his night stand.
„Angela, where is my trophy?“.
„Lewis, seriously what the fuck? Which trophy?“. She sounds genuinely confused so Lewis finally gets up and lets her in. „What are you talking about?“. She pushes past him shaking her head.
„My fucking trophy is gone. That I won yesterday. Someone must have stolen it“. He points at the night stand where he put it last night.
„Lewis, are you feeling ill?“. Angela puts a hand to his forehead as if she’s feeling his temperature. „Did you hit your head?“.
„Seriously, stop fucking with me. It’s Monday, we fly home in five hours so why are you bothering me?“. Lewis is a little mad to be honest.
„Lewis, sweetie, it is Sunday. It’s race day. We have to get down for breakfast and prepare for the race“.
„Angela, I won the fucking race yesterday. I remember it clear as day. I won, Max got second, Valtteri third, Seb fourth… please stop messing with me, it’s really not funny“. She still looks at him like he’s crazy.
„Lewis, it is Sunday. Please, just look at your phone or ask Toto or someone else. It is race day. You won the Pole Position Trophy yesterday but nothing else. Please Lewis“ she begs him. And Lewis knows Angela, trusts her with his life. So he takes his phone from the night stand. where his trophy should be. It says Sunday, August 29.
„I… something’s wrong, Angie. I drove the race yesterday. Why isn’t it Monday?“. He sounds desperate and Angela hears it too. And because she trusts him with her life too, she tries to believe him.
„To me, Sunday was yesterday. I drove the race yesterday. I won the race yesterday. And I put my fucking trophy on my fucking night stand. and now it’s gone and you tell me it’s Sunday again which is impossible and I’m… I’m just lost Angie. What the fuck is happening?“. Angela looks at him almost pitiful.
„Let’s get you checked up, hm?“. She drags him down to the Medics who do a neuro check and a blood test and what not and send him over to the local hospital to get a Head CT.
Just to be safe, Angela tells Toto to call Stoffel because Lewis won’t race. What if he has an aneurysm or a brain tumour? He can’t race.
But the doctors clear him. Nothing wrong with his brain, excellent reaction time and memory except for the fact that for him it should be Monday when it is in fact Sunday.
„Am I going crazy?“ he asks Angela on the way home to the hotel.
„I think that you think you really raced yesterday. But I don’t know how to believe you, Lewis. There is no proof. Because I went to bed yesterday too but it was definitely Saturday. And for everyone else it was Saturday too. So rationally what you say doesn’t make any sense. But you’re my friend and I trust you so I really want to believe you“. She smiles sadly. „I just don’t know how“.
She sends him to bed early, even before the race is over and tells him to sleep it off. Lewis thinks she might just be right. Maybe it really was just a dream or a hallucination. So he goes to sleep and hopes he wakes up on a fucking Monday.
„Good morning, come on, wake up!“. He’s awfully scared when he opens his eyes. He even sends a little prayer to wherever a God is and hopes it is Monday. But then he looks at his phone and once again it says Sunday, August 29. He thinks he’s going crazy.
„Lewis, are you up?“. Angela’s cheerful voice comes through the door and Lewis sighs.
„Yes, I am“ he calls back. „Hey Angie, what did we talk about yesterday?“.
„Your race strategy and the stretches I showed you so your neck doesn’t get sore“. No. No they didn’t. They went to see about twenty doctors because Lewis seemingly can’t move forward in time. What the fuck. Or maybe he’s been asleep for a very long time so it’s all been just a dream. Which is why he gets dressed and joins the others for breakfast.
He drives the race, he wins the race. The final score just the same as he remembers it from his „original timeline“. He on first, Max on second, Valtteri on third and Seb on fourth. Everything is just the same. And he goes to bed thinking that he probably dreamt the first two Sundays and will now wake up on Monday.
It takes him a while to understand. He’s in a fucking time loop. No one remembers but him. And he keeps waking up on race day. He goes to bed on Sunday evening only to wake up on Sunday morning.
It takes him another two races to lose it for the first time.
„Good morning, come on, wake up!“.
„Go away!“ he yells at Angela, tells her he hates everything, that he quits, that Formula 1 sucks and who even needs that shit and hops on the first plane back to England. He misses Roscoe and he wants to see him and he wonders how his dog is doing even though rationally he knows that for Roscoe the same amount of time passed as for everyone but him.
Even though he’s not tired at all, he falls asleep on the plane.
When he wakes up, he’s back in his hotel bed.
„Good morning, come on, wake up!“. He decides that this time he’s gonna try to fuck up as badly as he can. Because maybe that’s what gets him out of this fucking loop.
He throws a raw egg at Valtteri at breakfast, keeps the car still at the start and lets everyone pass only to get Latifi crash into Kimi through an incredibly stupid and dangerous manoveur (he makes sure though that they’re all slow enough to not die or get hurt). After the restart he does a doughnut so Mazepin, Giovinazzi and George have to swerve to avoid him and they all crash either into each other or in Antonio’s case into the next barrier.
„Lewis, what the fuck are you doing?“. Oh wow, he got Toto on the radio. What an honour.
„Just having some fun, boss“.
He overtakes Charles and Carlos and does an abrupt spin, sees in the mirror that Charles brakes just in time to not hit him but Carlos crashes into Leclerc and they’re both out. Fascinating. Only twelve more cars to go. He goes for an unsafe release in the pit stop which takes out Verstappen and Stroll who go left and right into the barriers to avoid hitting him – how nice of them. Ten more. He still looks in his mirror and feels relief when they both get out of the car and shake their fists.
He feels a little bad when he pushes Mick off the track which in turn pushes Perez off the track. Eight to go. He feels even worse when he hits Seb a little and gives him suspension failure. Seven. Valtteri takes himself out. Lewis can only laugh. He waves at Lando and Lando waves back and Lewis uses that to swirl a little. Lando swerves and goes across the gravel.
Lewis decides to unplug his radio. Toto keeps yelling and it is really annoying. Daniel gets an engine failure about halfway through the race and somehow no one wants to stop Lewis. Or maybe he just doesn’t hear any orders any more because he shut off the radio. Fernando is a tricky one but Lewis puts them wheel to wheel just in front of one of those sticks that are marking track limits in corners and Alonso tears open his front wing and maybe a little bit more but his car stands still and he gets out. Excellent. Now there’s only three cars left. Ocon, Gasly and Tsunoda. Ocon and Gasly take themselves out on their fight for P1 and it is very easy to scare Tsunoda. The second he sees Lewis in his mirror he gets nervous and loses the car just as Lewis passes him. Wow, what a race. He’s the only one left standing. Wow.
He drives the car for another lap until he decides to just leave. Maybe this will get him fired. Or maybe not. Because he’s still stuck in a fucking time loop. And he hasn’t had that much fun in a while. So he drives off the track, through one of these holes in the fence where the rescue car comes through and just leaves.
He parks the car somewhere in the woods and just closes his eyes. And really hopes this isn’t the reality he’ll get stuck with. Sleep comes easy this time.
„Good morning, come on, wake up!“. He knew it. He fucking knew it. He is stuck and he can’t get out. What even is the point of doing anything? Or… (and Lewis grins) what is the point of not doing everything?
So when it’s time to race, he ignores his race suit and just goes in his underwear.
„Lewis! Why aren’t you wearing your fire proofs?“. Toto looks concerned but Lewis is cackling internally.
„Man, I’m already so hot, fire couldn’t burn me“. He laughs.
„You know we can’t let you drive like that?“. Lewis shrugs.
„Then get someone else to drive. It’s 40 minutes until the race starts, Stoffel won’t get here in time. It’s either me in underwear or no one“. He puts his hands on his hips and looks at Toto who seems to be considering his options.
„I don’t care. You’re not driving“. It seems final. So Lewis decides to have his fun.
He poses nearly naked with fans, kisses a few girls and boys and just enjoys himself. Because he will wake up tomorrow and it will be Sunday again so he might just have some fun. It doesn’t bring him joy for long. For a second he thinks he sees Sebastian lurking behind some tyres and the look on his face is just… sad. Devastated. And Lewis hates it when Seb is like that. He just wants Seb to be happy because he might just be a little bit in love with him. So he stops and goes back to his hotel room. What is the point?
„Good morning, come on, wake up!“. He feels like crying. It is Reboot Number… well at least ten? He doesn’t even remember. He’s not even sure how his „original timeline“went. All the loops blur into one big loop.
This time, he drives the car into a wall with full force. He just wants this loop to end. Or maybe even this life. Because what is a life like that? Always living the same day over and over and over?
Some days he wakes up sad. Some determined. And today he wakes up feeling very fuck everyone.
„Good morning, come on, wake up!“. He groans. Angela’s cheery voice wakes him up once again.
„Yes, yes, I’m awake“. Maybe this time he can finally wake up on a Monday. Not that he actually believes it but he hopes. Maybe the key is to do everything just the same way as the first time. Or maybe not.
He goes to sleep on race day and wakes up on race day. Nothing he does or doesn’t do ends the chain and today… today he just doesn’t care for once.
So he gets dressed and goes down to breakfast. But this time, instead of sitting with the Mercedes Crew he goes to Red Bull. He knows every single person looks at him but since he will wake up on Sunday morning again tomorrow what’s the point? He might just tell people what he thinks about them and he starts with Max.
„Verstappen“ he says „You are a pretty good driver but you’re way too aggressive and you literally take the victory away from yourself so often by doing idiotic and dangerous overtakes. Also your father is an abusive asshole and you should really cut him off“. Max opens his mouth and closes again but before he can regain his composure Lewis turns to Christian Horner.
„You are a dick. You go through drivers like other people go through underwear. And if you don’t give your second driver an equal car they are bound to fuck up. You have no compassion and it shows“. Lewis smiles. „Ah and Checo… Well I don’t have anything against you personally so nothing to say“.
That really really felt good. Being polite and humble all the time is annoying sometimes and none of them will remember anything. Because the fucking day keeps resetting.
So he goes to the Ferrari table. Binotto is already very small on his chair and Lewis can only grin.
„Man, Mattia you really aren’t a good team boss or strategist. You fucked Seb over a hundred times during last season. I do not like you“. He sighs. „Ah and Charlie boy. Same problem as Verstappen. Too aggressive, doesn’t learn from his mistakes. You should try to look in your mirrors some more. And Carlos. You suck. You didn’t kneel, you openly support racists. What the fuck is wrong with you?“.
And so he goes on and on. He tells them all what he thinks. Two teams he saves for last.
Once he reaches the Haas table, he smiles.
„Mick, you are everything your father wanted you to be. I’m sure he’s proud of you. I am. But of you“ Lewis turns to Mazepin „Of you I’m not proud. I am disgusted that scum like you gets to drive in Formula 1 among great people like Mick and Seb. You should be in jail, not in an F1 car“.
And then – finally – he turns to Aston Martin.
He tells Lance that he likes him and then he turns to Seb who is looking at him with a mix of admiration, confusion and maybe a little anger.
„I love you“ he says. „Always have. But it doesn’t really matter because tomorrow I will wake up today and all of you will have forgotten every single thing about this“.
„Lewis, are you alright?“. Seb looks at him with concern in his eyes and tension in his body as if he fears Lewis might experience a breakdown. But Lewis is way past this.
„Yes, very much, thank you“. And because it doesn’t matter what he does he leans down and presses a kiss to Seb’s lips. „I love you“ he says again.
When he stands up again the whole hall is looking at him. He can barely hold in a hysterical laugh. And so he bows down and waves.
„Thank you all for your attention. See you at the race!“.
When he wakes up again on Sunday morning he feels bad. Really bad. And weird. But maybe this is the day to end it all. Who knows?
„Good morning, come on, wake up!“. Angela is back.
„Good morning, Angela, how are you doing today?“. Lewis opens the door for her and smiles.
„My god, you are awfully cheerful today“ she says but she laughs. „Are you ready? Come on, let’s have breakfast“.
This time he stops at the entrance to the room. What is he in the mood for today? His eyes fall on Seb and he decides.
„Excuse me, Angela“. With that he goes to the Aston Martin table. „Sebastian, would you please join me for breakfast?“. And to his everlasting surprise Seb actually stands up and smiles.
„Sure, where do you want to sit?“. And Lewis leads Sebastian to one of the free tables in the back of the room.
„What’s up?“ Seb asks as soon as they got their food and sit.
„I just wanted to spend some time with my favourite rival“. They both smile a little. „And what’s new with you?“. It’s politeness that makes him ask but Sebastian’s answer makes him stop dead in his tracks.
„I’m going to retire“. It takes all his willpower not to spit out his tea.
„You.. what? Why?“.
„I’ve been a driver for so long. And Lance has been better in nearly every race than me. Maybe I just don’t have it in me anymore but I haven’t had a race win in so long and only got last year’s podium through sheer luck… I’m old“. Seb shrugs.
„I’m older than you“ Lewis points out.
„But you’re fitter, better and you’re still hungry. I’m not“. And Lewis thinks he knows why he keeps waking up on race day. Maybe this is it. Maybe he has to stop Seb. But how?
„I think you’re wrong“ he says. „I think you just hit a slump and just need to get back on track again. Feel the car, feel the speed. Trust the car. You haven’t had a car you could trust for more than a year. It’s hard to be able to trust again. You just need some time“. But Seb shakes his head.
„No. I’m going to retire“. It sounds final.
And on track, Lewis sees that Seb has given up. So he tries. He takes out Lance and makes it look like an accident - a seven time World Champion can do that. And he keeps Valtteri and Max behind him once they all pitted so Seb stays in front. He has already won this but maybe Seb needs a win to regain his confidence.
And when he stands next to Seb on the podium he thinks this might just be it. He’s never been so happy with a second place and goes to bed feeling accomplished and content.
„Good morning, come on, wake up“. For a split second he thinks he did it and Angela is waking him up to fly home but the date on his phone is still set to Sunday. What has he done wrong? Seb won. Wasn’t that enough? Apparently not.
So he tries again.
„Seb, would you like to join me for breakfast?“. And once again they sit at the back of the room and Seb confesses he is going to retire and Lewis tries to convince him otherwise. In the end he feels like he said the same things as last time and somehow he doesn’t know how to change things. So he tries one last thing: „I don’t want to do this without you“ he says and watches as Seb tries to process what Lewis said.
„That’s… flattering“. Seb smiles. „But my decision is final“.
The race ends in chaos. Lewis is angry, he drives aggressively, he nearly puts the car into a wall but somehow still manages to finish on three, Seb directly behind him. He goes to bed and he dreams of days to come, without Seb in F1. Nightmare after nightmare until -
„Good morning, come on, wake up“ He groans and slowly stands up, stretches. What is he even supposed to do?
This time, breakfast is the usual affair. He sits with Toto and Valtteri and silently eats his meal.
„Are you alright, Lewis?“ Toto asks. Lewis shrugs.
„Yeah“ he says. Why wouldn’t he be? It’s not like he’s been living through this day over and over again, nearly twenty times and he hates it and he wants Seb to stay and to race him until they’re both old and then he wants to race him in a fucking wheelchair or whatever. He wants to spend the rest of his life with Seb and the thought of doing this, of doing Formula 1 without his favorite rival just makes him ache and makes him want to throw up and he hates it. He hates it. He hates it!
But he can’t say that to Toto because Toto might just call the medics and bring him to the Looney Bin.
He’s out of ideas. But maybe…
He catches Sebastian after breakfast, corners him on the hotel floor and watches as Seb’s defense falls when Lewis presses his body against him. And then he kisses Seb, desperately, hungry, he can’t even think of a word that describes what he’s feeling. Seb kisses him back. Maybe this is the one.
„Lewis“ he moans and Lewis can’t grasp a single thought except Seb Seb Seb Seb. They separate and make their way to their rooms and it feels like a promise.
It’s all Lewis can think of. Seb. Seb forever. And it’s the last thing he sees before he puts his car into the wall and it all goes dark.
„Good morning, come on, wake up“. Lewis has a headache. A big one. Maybe it’s because he keeps thinking about what Seb thought when he saw Lewis crash into the wall (though rationally he knows nothing from the last Sunday was real and the second he crashed everything reset). And he can’t get that kiss out of his head because Seb kissed him back which means Seb feels the same. Or maybe he was just horny. Who even knows. But then again Lewis could just ask him. It’s not gonna matter anyway.
So this times he asks Seb to join him for breakfast again. And once again they sit at the back of the room but this time Lewis starts different.
„I really really have to tell you something“ he says.
„I have to tell you something too“ Seb answers. Lewis is sure he knows what it is.
„Sebastian, i am in love with you“ He watches as Seb swallows hard, sighs and then smiles.
„I know. You have never been good at hiding that“. Lewis feels like crying. This sounds like a rejection. „I adore you, Lewis“. Seb takes Lewis’ hand. „I’m going to retire“.
And in a perfect echo of Seb Lewis hears himself saying „I know“ and then his voice breaks. What even is the point?
They stay seated for a long time until Britta and Angela find them.
And once again Lewis feels good and accomplished. He drives a perfect race, Seb on fourth place and he thinks this might be it.
He still wakes up to Angela’s „Good morning, come on, wake up“ and he feels like screaming. What else can he do? He decides to take a break from everything and just sends Angela away. He wants to be left alone.
Angela has other plans. She comes back with Toto and Lewis sends him away too. He does not want to see anyone. He’s stuck in this loop and has to relive his nightmare again and again and again and he doesn’t seem to be able to convince Seb to keep racing, to stay by his side.
At least the last Seb was in love with him too. It soothes his broken heart a little.
He empties the mini bar, screams at everyone who comes to his door and finally falls asleep some time around 4 pm.
Once again Angela wakes him up. He feels better than yesterday but he still feels like shit. He’s still stuck.
Maybe he needs to go public. Maybe that’s his objective. Finally living his truth. Maybe that’s what breaks the spell.
So he goes and drives a perfect race and proudly says to Martin Brundle that he has an announcement.
„I’m gay“ he says. „I’m a proud queer man and I want everyone to see that“.
But it doesn’t work.
„Good morning, come on, wake up“.
„Five more minutes“ he yells back. He needs to gather his thought. Maybe the thing that gets him out of this loop is… He sighs.
Stopping Seb from retirement. Telling Seb how he feels. Telling the world how he feels. Winning the race. Giving Seb back his confidence. That’s a lot to do in one day. But one thing at a time. He should probably start with telling Seb about his feelings.
So he follows Angela to the breakfast hall and heads straight to Seb.
„Will you join me for breakfast?“. And Seb joins him, like he has done everytime.
They sit in their usual spot.
„I have to tell you something“ Lewis says gently. Seb smiles at him but this time Lewis doesn’t let him speak. „I’m in love with you. Have been for a while. I love you, I admire you and I want to spend the rest of my life with you. Please, please don’t leave me“. He only says all that because he knows Seb loves him back.
„I love you too Lewis“. Seb takes Lewis’ hand and Lewis mentally checks one box on his to do list. „I have to tell you something too“. He knows what’s coming. „I’m going to retire after this season“.
Lewis hates it. Hates the defeated look on Seb’s face, the way his shoulders slump.
„Please don’t“. It’s really all Lewis manages to say and Seb smiley sadly.
„I just don’t have the motivation anymore. No hunger. Lance is better than me, the car doesn’t do what I want and I just don’t want to fight anymore“.
„Sebastian…“. Lewis tries to put all the love he has for the other man in his voice. „You are without a doubt the only driver on the grid who could beat me. Lance is only better because he knows the car, trusts the car and you don’t. Who can blame you? The Ferrari was a shitbox and you know it. You just have to regain your confidence and trust the car again. You have to have faith“. Seb snorts.
„That’s easy for you to say. The Mercedes is the best car on the grid“.
„So what? You’re basically driving last season’s Mercedes. Have faith“ Lewis begs „Please don’t leave me alone in this madness. I can’t do this without you. I mean imagine… Sebastian Vettel, first ever Aston Martin World Champion. Isn’t that what you want? Is there really no hunger inside you to finally get that magic number? To finally get five World Titles? At least wait until the season is a little older and you have gotten used to the car“. He begs and begs and begs and he thinks he got through to Sebastian
„I… I will think about it“. And Lewis checks the second box on his to do list because he knows that Seb listened to him.
He pulls Seb into a dark corner just before the race to whisper it again. „I love you“. It isn’t even hard to say but it makes his heart beat faster. And he softly kisses Seb. „I love you“. He takes Seb’s face into his hands, strokes his cheeks and smiles at him. „I love you“. It feels so good. And in it all there is the silent plead to not leave, to stay, to keep racing, to be by Lewis’ side.
When Lewis sees Seb in his mirror during the race, overtaking Valtteri he’s sure he can check the third box on his to do list. And finally, finally he’s fighting Sebastian again. His one true rival and maybe even his one true love. It is a good fight, excellent even. Seb gives as good as he gets and in the end they are separated by only a tenth of a second.
He hugs Seb tightly on the podium. It’s been a while since they’ve been up there together. Turkey 2020. And now Spa 2021. And Lewis has never felt lighter, better.
„Please don’t leave“ he begs again and this time he feels Seb won’t.
They cross paths again shortly before the interviews.
„Stay. Let’s keep racing each other. You make me better in every way I can think of“ Lewis whispers to Seb and is glad that Toto is looking the other way. „I love you. Stay“.
And finally Seb says „I will“.
Lewis sneaks Seb into his hotel room that night. They sit and they talk and they laugh the whole night. And Lewis thinks this is it. This is the one. This time he breaks the loop.
And when he wakes up to Seb’s snoring the next morning and not Angela’s „Good morning, come on, wake up“ he knows it worked.
Seb was the key all along. His Seb. Future Aston Martin World Champion and the love of his life.
Sebastian Vettel extends Aston Martin contract until 2025! - George Russell gets the Mercedes seat in 2022 – Mazepin sacked with immediate effect
Aston Martin have announced that Sebastian Vettel extended his contract earlier this day. The four time World Champion binds himself to Lawrence Stroll’s team for another three years.
Team owner Stroll is very happy about that: „Obviously we are thrilled. Sebastian is an excellent driver and he pushes the team forward every day. We hope to make him a World Champion here“.
In light of these news Mercedes has announced George Russell as their second driver for 2022. Even though Valtteri Bottas had previously signed a contract for 2022, Toto Wolff confirms that Bottas and Mercedes will part ways on Bottas’ wish. Russell signs a five year contract and will race alongside Hamilton who is excited for 2022: „I’m very happy for George, he’s an amazing talent and I’m thrilled to see what he can do in a good car. I’m also happy for Sebastian. I’m excited to race him and while I wish him another World Championship I will not make it easy for him. 2022 is going to be amazing!“.
Williams is expected to name their replacement driver until the end of Summer Break.
The most surprising change after Spa is however Mazepin. Gunther Steiner confirms that Nikita Mazepin has been fired. The former F2 driver who has been accused of sexual assault towards the end of the 2020 season has been let down effective immediately. The reasons were discussed internally and will not be disclosed according to Haas.