Both Scuderia Ferrari and Sebastian Vettel promised that the German ace's contract would be sorted before the 2020 season started, and the promise was somehow kept. After negotiations stalled, the two parties agreed to go their separate ways from 2021 onwards.
A fall from grace
A number of factors allegedly contributed to this decision, first broke out by German media outlets. The Scuderia offered a one-year contract extension with a significantly reduced salary, something that Vettel was not willing to accept. Although specific details of the negotiation have not been made public for obvious reasons, the four-time World Champion was offered the same salary as Charles Leclerc. It has also been rumoured that Ferrari intentionally negotiated with numbers and benefits clearly unfit for a driver as successful as Vettel, in a move to ease the parting.
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Despite never winning a title for the team, Sebastian Vettel is the third Ferrari drivers scoring more wins, with an impressive tally of 14, even in years when Maranello did not have the strongest car on the grid.
As for Ferrari, bookmakers and sources seem to indicate that the team has expressed an interest in Carlos Sainz and Daniel Ricciardo. While the second could accept to settle into the role of Charles Leclerc's #2, it's difficult to imagine a young talent with prospects like Sainz to easily fit into that position. It's way too soon for the Scuderia to look into their own ranks: no one in the Ferrari Driver Academy has the sufficient expertise, including Alfa Romeo protegé Antonio Giovinazzi. An odd (but still realistic) bet could also be seen in Daniil Kvyat, former Scuderia Ferrari development driver.
Sebastian Vettel's options are limited, as strange as it sounds. The top teams are clearly not to be taken into consideration, as all the parties involved would refuse to field such a calibre alongside Hamilton or Verstappen, while a move in midfield teams would be very difficult to digest for the German. Are we looking at Sebastian Vettel's retirement from Formula 1?
Written by Aurora Dell'Agli.