- 20 May 2021
Sebastian Vettel, four times F1 champion is set to leave Ferrai after 2020. As per media release, the racer said My relationship with Scuderia Ferrari will finish at the end of 2020. He added that the team and I have realized that there is no longer a common desire to stay together beyond the end of this season. Financial matters have played no part in this joint decision. The development will lead to a doubtful future for the 32 years old former F1 champion.
Official media release from the Maranello based team stated that “Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow and Sebastian Vettel have jointly decided not to extend the current contract covering Sebastian’s services as a driver with the team, beyond its current expiry date of the end of the 2020 Formula 1 season”.
Mattia Binotto, Managing Director Gestione Sportiva and Team Principal said that “This is a decision taken jointly by ourselves and Sebastian, one which both parties feel is for the best. There was no specific reason that led to this decision, apart from the common and amicable belief that the time had come to go our separate ways in order to reach our respective objectives.
He added that Sebastian is already part of the Scuderia’s history, with his 14 Grands Prix wins making him the third most successful driver for the team, while he is also the one who has scored the most points with us. In our five years together, he has finished in the top three of the Drivers’ Championship three times, making a significant contribution to the team’s constant presence in the top three of the Constructors’ classification.
Mr. Binotto, on behalf of everyone at Ferrari thanked Sebastian for his great professionalism and the human qualities he has displayed over these five years. He said that we have not yet managed to win a world title together, which would be a fifth for him, but we believe that we can still get a lot out of this unusual 2020 season."
Sebastian Vettel commented that “My relationship with Scuderia Ferrari will finish at the end of 2020. In order to get the best possible results in this sport, it’s vital for all parties to work in perfect harmony. The team and I have realized that there is no longer a common desire to stay together beyond the end of this season. Financial matters have played no part in this joint decision. That’s not the way I think when it comes to making certain choices and it never will be.
He added that “Scuderia Ferrari occupies a special place in Formula 1 and I hope it gets all the success it deserves. Finally, I want to thank the whole Ferrari family and above all its “tifosi” all around the world, for the support they have given me over the years. My immediate goal is to finish my long stint with Ferrari, in the hope of sharing some more beautiful moments together, to add to all those we have enjoyed so far."
It is notable that Vettel and Ferrari were engaged in negotiation talks for a new deal as existing contract entered in final season. But the talks have broken down, and Ferrari and Vettel will part ways by 2020. Vettel had joined Ferrari in 2015 and had won 14 grand prixes and twice ended as runner-up in F1 drivers' championships. Sebastian joined Ferrari after winning all his championships with Redbull, but has not been able to add any championship title since then.
Last month, Vettel said that he wanted to have a deal before the start of the 2020 season, but it was delayed by COVID-19 pandemic. Recently, Italian sports newspaper “Gazetta Dello” reported that the four time champion was offered a one-year extension with a salary reduction.
However Ferrari have earlier said that Vettel was still first choice for them to partner Leclerc, but reports said they wanted answer by end of April to ensure that potential replacements are still available.
McLaren's Carlos Sainz Jr. and Renault driver Daniel Ricciardo are understood to be the leading two candidates to replace Vettel as Charles Leclerc's team-mate for 2021. The 22 years old Charles Leclerc, who defeated Vettel at driver’s championship, has signed 5 year of term with Ferrari until 2024.
The situation looks bleak for 32 years old Vetttel, as the top seats are already occupied. Lewis Hamilton is continuously showing his intent to continue with Mercedes and Max Verstappen is at Redbull. However there are chances for Vettel with Mclaren, which is under transformation. It is expected that the sport will get going behind closed doors in Austria in July.