Sebastian Vettel says that Aston Martin's prospects for 2022 and the team's vision for the future fueled his desire to remain with the Silverstone-based outfit next season.
Aston and Vettel recently agreed to extend their partnership for 2022, but the four-time world champion who will head into his 15th full season of F1 next year says that reaffirming his commitment to his team was never really in doubt.
"Not really in the end," he said. "The excitement for next year, the new car, the new regs, where the team is going, it looks very promising.
"We don’t know until next year but it is great to be part of it. I don’t know if there’s a timing line in general when people expect an answer or not."
"There were lots of things in my mind, but what matters, in the end, is going forward it’s clear what is going to happen."
Spurred on by team owner Lawrence Stroll's big ambitions, Aston Martin will undergo a significant transformation in the next two years, with a new state-of-the-art factory breaking ground at Silverstone and a build-up of its human resources.
Beyond the hope that next year's F1 regulation overhaul will help Aston Martin progress up the order, Vettel revealed what motivates him moving forward.
"The driving, the competitiveness," he said. "Obviously, I love driving, I love winning, so next year a lot of things are changing. I don’t think anybody is guaranteed to win.
"I think the spirit of the team is great, I like the guys, it has been a great season, not maybe in terms of results but in terms of working. Morale is high. So a lot of things excite me.
"[The possibility of winning titles] does [excite me], otherwise I wouldn’t be here. [The target of] four or five years is fair in terms of looking back to other teams, how long it took other teams to climb to the top.
"The vision the team has is impressive and the commitment is very high, so it might be less but you never know it might be longer.
" But I feel that where the team is going in a very promising direction and it will happen.
"Time will tell. I am not getting younger, it is not my first year in Formula 1, so we will see what happens."