Vettel sees Schumacher as worthy successor at Aston

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Sebastian Vettel has suggested that his protégé Mick Schumacher would be a great addition to the Aston Martin team but insisted he will have no say in the outfit's decision.

The announcement of Vettel's retirement at the end of the season has led to speculation on who will replace the four-time world champion at Aston Martin.

Schumacher has been cited as a potential candidate to join Lance Stroll at the Silverstone-based outfit, with Fernando Alonso, Alex Albon, Nyck de Vries and current reserve Nico Hulkenberg also earmarked by pundits.

Since Schumacher's promotion to F1 with Haas in 2021, Vettel has spared no effort to help guide and counsel the young gun, just like his countryman's legendary father had done with Vettel himself during his formative years in F1.

Vettel said that when he spoke with team owner Lawrence Stroll on Wednesday evening to tell him that he would be retiring from F1 at the end of the season, the topic of who might fill his seat at Aston Martin was briefly discussed.

"Obviously I spoke to Lawrence yesterday [Wednesday] and told him that I'm not going to continue," said Vettel on Thursday in Hungary.

"We did have a very, very brief chat about what might be next.

"I do have my opinion. I mean, I think very highly of Mick. I'm obviously not entirely objective, because I'm very close to him. But I do think he's a great driver.

"And he's a learner, he keeps learning when others sort of stall, or stop making progress. So he does have qualities, but he's also very young still, and doesn't have a lot of experience.

"So I don't know, it's not my decision. If I'm asked I will give my opinion and not hold back, but in the end the team has to make that decision."

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On Thursday, Schumacher reacted to the news of his mentor leaving the sport by saying that Vettel would leave "a huge hole in the sport".

But when queried on his prospects for 2023 and a possible move to Aston Martin, the Haas charger dismissed the speculation, insisting his focus was on his present priorities with Haas.

"Well, you know, obviously, I think there's still lots to do here," he said. "So that's where my focus lies at the moment. And, you know, what the future brings we will see.

"I never say never. But, you know, obviously, my focus is Budapest right now with Haas."

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