Reports: Vettel to leave Ferrari at end of season

Sebastian Vettel

Multiple reports from Sebastian Vettel’s native Germany are claiming that the four-time world champion will leave Ferrari at the end of the 2020 Formula 1 season.

Vettel is in the final year of his current, three-year contract and, according to both Bild and Auto Motor und Sport, that deal will be his last with Scuderia Ferrari.

Both furthermore claim that the split could be officially announced on Tuesday, local time.

Ferrari has already signed Charles Leclerc until at least the end of 2024, after a season in which the Monegasque took his first two race wins and a season-high seven pole positions.

His older team-mate claimed one victory in 2019, albeit in somewhat fortuitous circumstances when Vettel led Leclerc to the chequered flag in Singapore.

The 32-year-old gave no indication that he would exit Ferrari in comments to media less than a month ago, but did admit that his fate would probably be decided prior to a restart in competition following the outbreak of COVID-19.

However, Vettel also reasoned that his age should not limit the term of any new agreement he would sign.

“Whatever the deal will be like, it will be whatever I and the team will be comfortable with,” he said.

“So, in terms of duration I don’t know. Normally the contracts I’ve had in the past were all three-year deals.

“I know I’m one of the more experienced drivers in Formula 1 but I’m not the oldest and I don’t think there’s an age limit in this regard.”

Italy’s La Gazzetta dello Sport reported later in April that Vettel had only been offered a one-year renewal, at a significantly reduced salary.

The German arrived at Ferrari off the back of a finish of fifth in the championship at Red Bull Racing in 2014 and has thus far been unable to rack up a fifth crown.

He also ended up fifth in the standings last year, one position and 24 points behind Leclerc.

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