Four-time Formula One world champion Sebastian Vettel will race for Aston Martin, the new name for the Canadian-owned Racing Point team, on a multi-year deal after leaving Ferrari at the end of the season.
The 33-year-old German replaces Mexican Sergio Perez, whose departure at the end of the 2020 season was announced on Wednesday.
“I am pleased to finally share this exciting news about my future. I’m extremely proud to say that I will become an Aston Martin driver in 2021,” Vettel said in a team statement ahead of Sunday’s Tuscan Grand Prix at Italy’s Mugello circuit.
“It’s a new adventure for me with a truly legendary car company. I have been impressed with the results the team has achieved this year and I believe the future looks even brighter,” he said.
“I believe we can build something very special together. I still have so much love for Formula One and my only motivation is to race at the front of the grid.”
The statement did not give details but said Vettel, who won his titles for Red Bull between 2010-13, had signed up “for 2021 and beyond.”
Vettel has had a tough time at Ferrari since the arrival of Monegasque Charles Leclerc, with the youngster beating him on wins, points and poles last season.
Ferrari have struggled this year but announced in May, before the season had even started, that Vettel would be leaving at the end of the year. He will be replaced by Spaniard Carlos Sainz from McLaren.
Racing Point are fourth overall after eight races, with Ferrari sixth.
At Mercedes-powered Aston, Martin Vettel will team up with Canadian Lance Stroll, son of the team’s billionaire owner Lawrence who is also the executive chairman of the British-based sportscar maker.
“Everybody at Silverstone is hugely excited by this news. Sebastian is a proven champion and brings a winning mentality that matches our own ambitions for the future as Aston Martin F1 team,” team principal Otmar Szafnauer said.
“Sebastian is one of the best in the world and I can’t think of a better driver to help take us into this new era. He will play a significant role in taking this team to the next level.”
FILE photo shows Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel wears a mask as he watches on during the qualifying of the Italian Grand Prix at Autodromo Nazionale Monza in Monza, Italy/ Miguel Medina/Pool via REUTERS