Sebastian Vettel has finally spoken up about his parting with Scuderia Ferrari post the 2020 F1 end as he states there was no formal offer to continue.
One of the biggest news from the COVID-19 lockdown was Vettel and Ferrari parting ways post the 2020 end with Carlos Sainz replacing the German alongside Charles Leclerc. Ever since the start of the F1 season, we had questions regarding the future already.
In Barcelona and Australia, the situation was pretty normal, where both Vettel and Mattia Binotto maintained that talks will happen as the season progresses. But with no racing, there was little information available apart from reports with no certainty.
There were multiple stories regarding offers and refusals but those were never confirmed. The only report which turned out to be the truth was Vettel and Ferrari no longer remaining together, which a lot of media stated that it will happen.
Speaking for the first time on the eve of the Austrian GP in virtual F1 press conference, Vettel revealed that there was no offer from Ferrari and that he was surprised to get a call from Binotto to state that they are not going to renew their contract.
This revelation somewhat makes it clear that Ferrari were always going for Sainz as McLaren’s Zak Brown had revealed that the contact with the Spaniard started in December 2019 when the American gave his permission for the driver to discuss.
“It was obviously a surprise to me when I got the call from Mattia when he told me that there was no further intention for the team to continue with me,” said Vettel to a question from The Sun. “We never got into any discussions, there was never an offer on the table and therefore there was no sticking point.”
Adding more about his future and the situation, Vettel was quoted by Racefans.net and other media outlets like Motorsport Network, The Race: “Obviously I want to make sure I make the right decision for myself and my future. I think I have a very competitive nature, I have achieved a lot in the sport, I’m motivated and willing to achieve more.
“To do so I need the right package and the right people around me so that’s what I’m looking out for at the moment, if the right opportunity should arise then it is quite clear. If that’s not the case then I’ll probably have to look out for something else.
“I don’t know, I think as I said if the right thing comes together and comes up I’m willing to continue then I feel I have much more to give. If that’s not the case and doesn’t come together then as I said it’s probably time to do something else.
“But I am of the conviction that if you are prepared to let’s say shut the door then you should be prepared to shut that door and not shut it and expect it to open again. You have to be aware of the decision you are making at the time and that’s also why I’m not rushing into anything, the next weeks and months will be probably bringing some more clarity.”
Looking back at the Ferrari stint and if he would help Leclerc, Vettel added: “I think first of all you have to say since the day that I joined, we’ve tried everything together to fight for the championship, which I think we have done on several occasions.
“We did not win the championship, so in that regard, looking back also, you could say that I have failed, we have failed. Obviously we set out with a clear target that we wanted to achieve. The truth is that up to this point, we didn’t. We still have this season ahead of us.
“Given that it’s such a strange season, strange start without fans, without people here, I think it’s impossible to know exactly what will expect us. I think it’s too soon to write everything off. But when we’re talking about looking back, I think here and there, it was missing a little bit.
“In the end, we were never able to put the package together that was good enough until the end of the year to fight for the championship. We got close until I was say midway, halfway in some years, but then the gap was opening up, and I think we then got defeated quite clearly by Mercedes and Lewis in those years.
“In the end, it’s quite simple. We were not quick enough, our package was not as strong as Mercedes. I’ve always I think tried to integrate inside the team. The same goes for my time with Ferrari. I think as much as you want to have success on-track and look after your own result, I think in the end you’re driving for a team as well.
“I think this year is very difficult to answer because we don’t know what type of season we will have ahead of us. We don’t know yet how competitive we will be etc. But surely should the situation arise and make perfect sense, then I think you expect both drivers to help each other out.
“I don’t think that has anything to do with the fact my contract expires, and I’m going to leave the team. But as I said at the same time, you’re obviously racing for yourself. I’m not trying to make Charles’ life easy on-track in terms of waving him by. I think we have been fighting each other in the past, and we will continue to do so,” summed up Vettel.
The bombshell from the German has opened up a tricky situation, especially with the relationship with Ferrari, when the team has already had to change its approach with the fact that the car is not competitive as they hoped it to be.
Here’s Mattia Binotto on Ferrari upgrades
Here’s more from Ferrari regarding how they will work in new F1 protocols
Here’s how Ferrari ran at Mugello with Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel
Here’s Charles Leclerc running at Maranello
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