Sebastian Vettel has downplayed a meeting with Otmar Szafnauer following last weekend’s British Grand Prix, after being seen leaving the track with the Racing Point team principal.
Ferrari’s decision to replace Vettel with Carlos Sainz in 2021 has left the four-time world champion on the market, leading to talks with Racing Point ahead of the team’s rebranding as Aston Martin Racing next year. Vettel confirmed he left Silverstone with Szafnauer last weekend but claims it was for nothing more than a social trip.
“We were heading to the fuel station,” Vettel said. “After the fuel station he was going home and I continued going somewhere else.
“I was (in the same car). It’s a nice car. It’s a Ferrari Pista! I remember years ago he was talking about that car, now he’s obviously got one. He said he was running out of fuel, I said, ‘Well, where are you going?’ and we were heading in the same direction so I was going with him to the fuel station and then went somewhere else.
“We were in the same car but we were wearing masks. We obviously can’t be two meters apart. I find it a bit awkward nowadays — people make a fuss out of everything. I don’t see the news in that, but OK, fine!”
It was jokingly suggested that Vettel could have signed a contract that was in Szafnauer’s car, but the German says the Racing Point boss is just someone he spends time with on occasion.
“Well, I signed something. He told me it was a waiver in case he crashed… that was a joke. Just making sure, as nowadays people get everything a bit wrong!
“As I said, there’s no news from my side, nothing to announce, I’ve known Otmar for a long time. I’ve been in his car before and nobody was interested. We’ve known each other for a long time. You speak to the people you know — it’s not uncommon.”