Motor racing-Vettel says ‘clear intention’ to continue with Aston Martin

(Reuters) – Four times Formula One world champion Sebastian Vettel said on Thursday he was talking to Aston Martin about staying with them next season and laughed off speculation he might move to McLaren.

The 35-year-old German, who won his titles with Red Bull from 2010-13, is out of contract at the end of 2022 with his future — and whether he will even stay in the sport — much discussed.

Asked ahead of this weekend’s French Grand Prix at Le Castellet about his plans, Vettel joked he was racing this weekend and the next one.

“Obviously I’ve said that at some point we’ll start to talk, and I’m talking to the team,” he added.

“I think there’s a clear intention to keep going and, yeah, we’ll see soon where we stand.”

Aston Martin principal Mike Krack has said he wants to retain Vettel, now in his second season with the team after moving from Ferrari, but it would be up to the driver to decide.

Aston Martin are ninth in the 10-team championship, with Vettel scoring 15 points to Canadian team mate and team owner’s son Lance Stroll’s three.

Asked about rumours he could be an option for McLaren, even though under-performing Australian Daniel Ricciardo and on-form British team mate Lando Norris both have contracts for 2023, Vettel grinned.

“I know obviously some people there, but I think it’s just rumours,” he said.

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin in London, editing by Toby Davis)