Aston Martin seriously considered asking Sebastian Vettel to stand in for an injured Lance Stroll at the Bahrain Grand Prix, according to team boss Mike Krack.
Stroll failed to take part in pre-season testing after he was involved in a biking accident that left him with a fractured wrist as well as a broken toe.
The Canadian’s participation at the first race in Sakhir was in heavy doubt, however Stroll battled through the pain and competed in the event, taking sixth place.
On the build-up to the weekend, Aston Martin said that reserve driver Felipe Drugovich was on standby in case Stroll couldn’t drive.
But Krack says that it considered contacting Vettel, who retired from F1 at the end of the 2022 season following two years with Aston Martin.
“Tempted? Yes, 100 per cent,” Krack told the F1 Nation podcast when asked about Vettel.
“But we didn’t do it, because we have such a high respect for Sebastian and his decision that he made at the time.
“I think it would not have been correct even to ask. We wanted to respect the way he was, and we didn’t want to put him in any difficult position.”
Aston Martin has made a sizeable jump for the 2023 season, currently sitting second in the Constructors’ Championship after taking back-to-back podiums to start the year.
Krack revealed that Vettel has been in contact with the team offering his congratulations after its strong commencement to the 2023 campaign.
“We have been in touch,” Krack said. “We were in touch for the New Year, obviously.
“But then also Sebastian was Sebastian-like, congratulating us, very gentleman-like, after our first podium in Bahrain.
“I always said to him this is also your merit, because he brought us really one step up over the previous two years.
“He brought us up in a lot of areas, where we have learned a lot and progressed a lot.
“He has certainly [played] his part in where we are now. But he’s comfortable with that; he was not in any kind of regretting [frame of mind] or whatever, because he was very conscious about his decision when he made it.
“I think the respect between himself and the team, or the respect between himself and myself, [was] really shown by this great moment of congratulating us. That was really, really appreciated and also I relayed it to the whole team.”