Charl Bosch
Online Motoring Reporter
3 minute read
12 May 2020
9:55 am

Ferrari and Sebastian Vettel parting at the end of this year

Charl Bosch

“My immediate goal is to finish my long stint with Ferrari, in the hope of sharing some more beautiful moments together".

IMAGE from ferrari.com

In a confirmation of speculation that broke overnight in both Italy and Germany, Ferrari has confirmed that it will part ways with four-time world champion, Sebastian Vettel, at the end of this year.

Speaking in a statement released on Tuesday morning (12 May), Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto said the decision was taken jointly by both the Prancing Horse and Vettel, and although not easy, was agreed upon based on “common and amicable belief that the time had come to go our separate ways”.

“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,” Binotto said.

“On behalf of everyone at Ferrari, I want to thank Sebastian for his great professionalism and the human qualities he has displayed over these five years, 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 that we can still get a lot out of this unusual 2020 season”.

In spite of providing no reason for the split, it has been widely reported that an agreement over the extension of Vettel’s contract, which expires at the end of this year, could not be reached. According to a report from the BBC, the German was allegedly offered less than what he had wanted and with a reduced contract.

Commenting on the decision, Vettel however denied that money had a played a role in the split, saying it has no bearing on his thinking process and that the collective was taken as both he and team had come to the realisation that “there is no longer a common desire to stay together beyond the end of this season”.

“What’s been happening in these past few months has led many of us to reflect on what are our real priorities in life. One needs to use one’s imagination and to adopt a new approach to a situation that has changed. I myself will take the time I need to reflect on what really matters when it comes to my future,” Vettel said.

“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”.

Although Ferrari has not yet announced a replacement for Vettel, the rumour mill has been churning out claims that McLaren’s Carlos Sainz is on the rumoured shortlist to partner Charles Leclerc at the Scuderia next year, while Vettel himself has been linked to the Woking-based outfit in past months.

Another possible candidate for Vettel’s seat is his former Red Bull teammate Daniel Ricciardo, who has on a number of occasions expressed frustration at his time with Renault since making the shock switch from the Milton Keynes to Enstone last year.

Not expected to join however is reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton, who despite being out of contract with Mercedes at the end of this year, is set to renew his contract with the Silver Arrows despite prior reports having linked him with a possible move to Maranello.

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