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The news of Sebastian Vettel's retirement has sent shockwaves around the paddock, not least at Aston Martin, who have publicly declared their efforts to keep the Four-time Champion.

With Vettel leaving, Aston Martin now has to decide on their new driver pairing for 2023, a task which will be difficult considering the variety of available options. 

Team principal Mike Krack has repeatedly dismissed the idea of Aston Martin signing anyone other than Vettel, but with the German now gone, the search for his replacement must begin. 

There are numerous potential candidates for the vacant Aston Martin seat. However, because the team's focus has been almost entirely dedicated to Vettel, it is still unclear who they will consider.

Oscar Piastri is the first driver to mention after any seat becomes available in the market, as the F2 Champion is regarded as among the most promising young talents available. 

However, the consensus is that Piastri will debut with Williams next season on a "loan" spell as he maintains his ties with Alpine. 

Oscar Piastri in Melbourne (1)

Since Aston Martin has no academy, there is no obvious choice in the current Formula 2 grid, though current Championship leader Felipe Drugovich is worth considering. 

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The Brazilian is in his third year of the Feeder Series, so his market value - in terms of speed and potential - is not in the same league as that of Piastri's.

With that said, Drugovich is a driver who brings significant financial backing and could help attract sponsors to Aston Martin.

With the exit of Sebastian Vettel, the inevitably large Brazilian fanbase Drugovich would bring to F1 could play an important part in revitalising the Aston Martin brand, both within and beyond the sport. 

Nico Hulkenberg remains Aston Martin's reserve driver and has demonstrated throughout his career that he can maximise results in the midfield.

Unfortunately, given the youth and financial muscle drivers also vying for a seat, the Le Mans winner's pace might not be enough to secure his last dance in F1.

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The wild card in this conversation is Mick Schumacher. He is certainly the less obvious choice for Aston Martin, but should the German driver lose favour at the Ferrari academy (an unlikely prospect), Aston Martin would be his best alternative. 

Schumacher seems likely to keep his seat with Haas, but should the American squad replace the 23-year-old, it seems plausible that he could fill the void left by Sebastian Vettel, at least from a commercial standpoint. 

Unrealistic though this seems, there is no indication of who is on the Silverstone-based team's radar for 2023. 

With such uncertainty surrounding who will join Lance Stroll at Aston Martin next season, the upcoming weeks and months will surely involve plenty of negotiations and discussions.