Sebastian Vettel still has what it takes to win world championships following his Ferrari exit, according to his former Formula 1 boss and current AlphaTauri team principal Franz Tost.

Vettel - who claimed his and Toro Rosso’s first F1 victory in his one and a half season spell at the Faenza squad under Tost’s leadership - is leaving Ferrari after six years at the end of the season.

The four-time world champion, who has so far failed to deliver his aim of winning a title with the Scuderia, will depart Ferrari with few realistic options if he wants to remain on the F1 grid in 2021.

There is an opening at Renault as the McLaren-bound Daniel Ricciardo’s replacement, but Vettel is reportedly pursuing a seat at Mercedes and could retire from the sport if he is unsuccessful.

“The end of something always means the start of something,” Tost told the official F1 website.

“It really depends on what seat he gets. To fight for a championship, Sebastian Vettel is a driver of the calibre who can do this.

“He needs to get a seat in the first three teams. Then he has a real chance to win races and another championship. I know Sebastian quite well, and that is for sure his main target.

“He’s only 32 years old, he’s a very high-skilled driver, and if he gets the correct package, [if] he’s sitting in a Ferrari, Red Bull or Mercedes, he’s still able to win races, and I’m also quite sure he can win another championship – it depends on which team he can drive for.”

Tost doubts Vettel will stay in F1 beyond the end of 2020 purely for financial gain and reckons the German will only be interested in extending his tenure if there is a competitive seat available.

“From the financial side, I don’t think he needs to continue racing, but drivers who have won championships, they don’t think so much of the money,” he explained.

“Their motivation is to win races, to be successful. That’s the motivation, not the money.

“He is not a driver who just wants to be on the starting grid. If we’re doing a race now, he wants to win a race. It depends how the ingredients he will get together to achieve the goal.”

 

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