Sebastian Vettel tips Mick Schumacher to succeed at Aston Martin

Sebastian Vettel on Friday tipped his friend and protégé Mick Schumacher to succeed him at Aston Martin next season.

The retired four-time world champion, who is a close friend of his 23-year-old fellow German, said he had spoken to team owner Lawrence Stroll and recommended the son of seven-time champion Michael Schumacher.

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“Obviously, I spoke to Lawrence and told him I’m not going to continue,” Vettel, 35, said.

“We had a very brief conversation about what might happen next.

“I have an opinion. I think a lot of Mack. I’m not completely objective because I’m very close to him, but I think he’s a great driver and he’s a learner.

“He continues to learn when others stop or stop developing. He has qualities, but he’s still very young. He doesn’t have much experience.

“It’s not my decision, but if I’m asked, I’ll give my opinion and I won’t back down. In the end, the team will have to make that decision.

Schumacher, who is out of contract with Haas at the end of this year, scored his first points in Formula One at the British Grand Prix earlier this month and followed it up with another strong finish in Austria.

As a graduate of the Ferrari Academy, the Italian team will also have some influence on the next phase of his career.

“Obviously, there’s still a lot to do here (at Haas), so my focus is now and what the future brings, we’ll see,” Schumacher said.

“Never say never, but obviously, my focus right now is Budapest.”

Schumacher knows Lawrence Stroll and his son Lance, who races for Aston Martin, from their karting days and says they share a strong bond.

“I’ve known them for a long time,” he said of the Stroll family. “And we’ve always been good to each other.”

In Friday’s practice at the Hungarian Grand Prix, Schumacher was 17th behind his Haas team-mate Kevin Magnussen while Vettel was seventh and Stroll 14th in the updated Aston Martin with a new rear wing.

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