Sebastian Vettel has announce that he is leaving Ferrari at the end of the season, the driver has just announced. Talks had been ongoing for a while between the 4 time World Champion and the Italian team, however these were rumoured to have broken down on Monday with Auto Motor und Sport reporting that instead of the 3 year deal requested by the German driver, he was only offered a 1 year extension on greatly reduced financial terms.
Vettel is quoted as saying “My relationship with Scuderia Ferrari will finish at the end of 2020. The team and I have realised that there is no longer a common desire to stay together beyond the end of this season. financial matter 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.”
“My immediate goal is to finish my long term stint with Ferrari ” he added ” In the hope of sharing some more beautiful moments together, to add to all those we have enjoyed so far”.
Team Principle Mattia Binotto stated “On behalf of Ferrari I want to thank Sebastian for his great professionalism and the human qualities he has displayed over these five, during which we shared so many great moments. We have not yet managed to win a world title together, which would be a fifth for him, but we believe we can still get a lot out of this unusual 2020 season”.
Where this leaves Vettel’s future is unknown at the moment as Helmut Marko has already ruled out signing the driver for purely monetary reason and with Lewis Hamilton keen to extend his stay at Mercedes, this rules out Vettel getting a seat at one of the top 3 teams for 2021.
Also speculation is rife about who Vettel’s replacement at Ferrari will be, with Carlos Sainz already being mentioned as potential team mates for Charles Leclerc. Sainz moving to the Italian team would leave a seat open at McLaren where Vettel would be working with Andreas Seidl again for the first time since he was with the then BMW team in 2007. Another name mentioned has been the possibly returning Fernando Alonso who stated recently that his plans were in place for 2021 and he would reveal them in due course. Although the current favourite for the seat is Daniel Ricciardo who suffered a torrid 2019 season at Renault where he only managed to finish 9th in the World Championship and didn’t reach the podium in a race for the first time since his move to RedBull in 2014.
We’ll have more on this as news becomes available and might have to edit this week’s podcast we recorded last night!