Sebastian Vettel still has what it takes to add a fifth Formula 1 title to his tally, according to his former boss, AlphaTauri team principal Franz Tost.
In a shock decision, Vettel and Ferrari have chosen to part ways after six years together, meaning 2020 will be his final season with the Scuderia.
His future remains uncertain with very few seats available and none of the top three seemingly interested in hiring the four-time champion, despite speculation he could replace Valtteri Bottas at Mercedes, though that looks incredibly unlikely.
Renault looks to be Vettel’s only real option and it’s unclear if the French manufacturer will ever get back to the top after struggling in recent seasons.
Tost though is confident Vettel still has the driving talent to take a competitive car to the top and win a fifth title, despite some questioning his recent performances which have been error strewn, costing him valuable points and arguably two shots at winning the title in ’17 and ’18.
“The end of something always means the start of something,” Tost told the official Formula 1 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 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 on the ingredients he will get together to achieve the goal.”
Tost also rubbished claims Vettel was holding out for more money, insisting the financial reward doesn’t drive top drivers.
“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. Their motivation is to win races, to be successful. That’s the motivation, not the money.”