Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner believes a return to the team by Sebastian Vettel is a very unlikely prospect, as he presumes there would be a personality clash with Max Verstappen.
Vettel’s departure from Ferrari at the end of the season was announced last week, and as yet the four-time world champion has yet to announce his next move. All four of his titles came with Red Bull after the German came up through its junior team, but Horner (pictured at right, above, with Vettel) has previously stated having two alpha drivers is a risky approach and says that remains the main reason why there is no real opportunity for Vettel to return.
“I think it’s enormously unlikely,” Horner said on Sky Sports News. “We have a long-term agreement with Max. Alex (Albon) is doing a good job. We’ve got a good dynamic within the team. Experience shows that two alpha males, it doesn’t tend to pan out well.
“Sebastian is still a very competitive grand prix driver. I don’t think it would be conducive for our team to have two alphas. We’re happy with the driver line-up we have. I’m sure he’s not short of options moving forward, but obviously he’s chosen that it hasn’t worked out for him at Ferrari.”
With Vettel being linked with retirement at the age of 32, Horner says whatever decision the German makes will be one that has been thoroughly thought out.
“He’s a guy of principles — I’m sure he’s thought long and hard about it, and you have to respect his decision. Where he goes to from here, I have no idea. But, as I say, he’s a guy with great integrity, great principles and whether he chooses to continue or not he’s achieved obviously a huge amount in his time in Formula 1.
“Four world championships, he’s one of the most successful drivers of all time … He’s still relatively young — he’s in his early 30s — if he chose to stay he’s obviously still very competitive.
“That’s entirely down to him and nobody will know that other than Sebastian what his choices are.”