Formula One (F1) world champion four-time Sebastian Vettel will leave Ferrari at the end of the season. The Italian team announced on Tuesday (05/12/2020) that the separation was a joint decision and not a matter of money.
‘This is a decision taken with us and Sebastian, who according to both parties are the best,’ Team Leader Mattia Binotto said in a statement, as reported by Reuters.
‘It was not an easy decision to reach, given how valuable Sebastian is as a racer and as a person.’
Vettel’s contract with the oldest and most glamorous team in ground jet sport ends at the end of the year. He joined Ferrari in 2015 with a dream of wanting to follow in the footsteps of his childhood idol, Michael Schumacher, in winning the title.
It is still a big question as to where the 32-year-old German driver will join, or even his future is still uncertain in the middle of a delayed season due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
‘The team and I have realized that there is no longer any desire to stay together after the end of this season,’ Vettel said.
German Media, reported Vettel has rejected the requirements offered by Ferrari. While the Italian newspaper Gazetta Dello Sport recently reported that Vettel, who won 14 races with the team and was their third most successful racer, has been offered a one-year contract extension with a salary reduction.
‘Financial problems do not play a role in this joint decision. That’s not what I think about when making certain choices and that will never happen.’
According to Vettel, now he will take time to reflect on what really matters when it comes to his future.
‘What happened in the past few months has caused many of we are to ponder what are the real priorities in life,’ he added.
The German driver, who also won the title with Red Bull, told reporters last month that he could make a new deal before the start of the season before it was delayed due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Ferrari also said that Vettel was their first choice to partner with Charles Leclerc.
Leclerc, who won two races last year and only 22, has a contract until 2024 and is seen as the future of Ferrari and possibly the first champion since Kimi Raikkonen in 2007.
He surpassed Vettel last year in his first season at Ferrari, finishing in front of him as a whole and taking on more points, pole, podium, and victory.