Sebastian Vettel‘s future with Ferrari F1 remains up in the air. The quadruple world champion has likely lost his number one status to Charles Leclerc. Team Boss, Mattia Binotto has indicated Vettel has just five races in 2020 to save his Ferrari seat. Lewis Hamilton is one of several drivers being linked with the second race seat.
2021 will see major changes to the cars. With that uncertainty factor looming, Ferrari is likely going to maintain two experienced drivers in 2021.
Here is a list of possible replacements for Vettel, should Ferrari move on from the German.
Lewis Hamilton is the most obvious choice. The reigning world champion Hamilton has been linked with a move to Ferrari. Additionally, Mercedes F1‘s long term future in the sport is unclear at this point, with the team unhappy with the upcoming 2021 regulations.
Lewis Hamilton comes in as an experienced driver, with a winning mentality. There’s a possibility he could join Ferrari as the driver with the most race wins. With over 250 races and multiple championships, Hamilton is a marquee signing.
Arguably, the biggest coup would be the possible addition of Toto Wolff. Co-incidentally Wolff’s contract with Mercedes ends in 2020. His strong partnership with Hamilton and management ability would represent a massive coup for Ferrari. The Italian outfit struggles in making strategic race calls. Wolff would help remedy that issue.
It would also allow Hamilton to come into the team on an equal footing with Charles Leclerc. Ferrari is known to show a preference for a single driver, boosting Hamilton’s footing within the team.
One of the greatest drivers racing for the most successful team is an enticing prospect for the sport’s fans.
Daniel Ricciardo signing for Ferrari looks like the perfect marriage. The Australian Grand Prix winner’s Italian heritage and aggressive racing would endear him to the passionate Ferrari fans. Until Charles Leclerc, he was the last teammate to beat Sebastian Vettel over a season.
Additionally, it’s rumoured that Ricciardo nearly joined Ferrari in 2019, ultimately losing out to Charles Leclerc.
Ricciardo has expressed his interest and desire to drive for Ferrari one day. If Ferrari were able to sign him, they get a proven race winner whose filled with passion and aggressive racing. Ricciardo has an excellent relationship with Leclerc. It’s not like the current dynamic between Sebastian Vettel and Leclerc.
Ricciardo’s contract expires in 2020. Ricciardo’s future is not as actively discussed as Sebastian Vettel or Lewis Hamilton. An under the radar swoop for the Australian from Renault can represent a signing with immense potential.
Valtteri Bottas would represent a surprising choice for Ferrari. The Finnish driver has redeemed his reputation in the sport with a strong 2019 season. However, it’s clear that at Mercedes he isn’t the alpha driver. In spite of the equal treatment given at Mercedes, Hamilton has a greater pull within the team.
Bottas can be lured to Ferrari if Mercedes retain Lewis Hamilton and look at their youth prospects. Esteban Ocon or George Russell represent attractive prospects for Mercedes. Both are competing in 2020 and will have the experience to take up the main seat if the need arises in 2021.
Bottas’s arrival in Ferrari would be frictionless. Bottas is familiar as a number two driver. His non-interference personality will let Leclerc be the focal point of the team. He brings experience and is a quick driver with 11 pole positions to his name.
Bottas would benefit the team with a driver line up that will not likely clash. Simultaneously, Ferrari gets a capable backup driver who is a dark-horse for the championship.
Sergio Perez is one of the most successful mid-field drivers in F1. He is a former Ferrari driver academy product. After an underwhelming year at McLaren, he’s been a consistent point scorer for Racing Point F1 (formerly Force India). He’s taken the team to the podium on 5 occasions.
The recklessness of his early years has left. He’s still an aggressive wheel to wheel racer, but now has a decade of experience to count on. He’s a consistent points finisher for Racing Point making his value to the team as second to none.
Adding Perez to Ferrari brings an experienced and aggressive racer on board. He has consistently punched above his weight. It’s unknown if he can handle the pressure of Ferrari, but he would be a cheaper alternative than most experienced drivers on the grid.
Antonio Giovinazzi represents the true internal choice for a Ferrari race seat. He’s been affiliated with Ferrari since at least 2017. That year he was the reserve driver for Ferrari and Haas F1. With Sauber (Now Alfa Romeo) F1’s Pascal Wehrlein unable to compete for the first two races of 2017 handed Giovinazzi’s debut. He finished 12th in Australia and failed to finish in China.
After additional testing sessions over the next couple of years, he finally landed a race seat with Alfa Romeo in 2019. Largely, he was out of points contention. Highlights included leading the Singapore Grand Prix and finishing 5th in Brazil.
Despite his relative lack of experience compared to the others, he can be a very useful asset in terms of team development. He has years of simulator and test driver experience that can help. Plus, being an Italian will automatically endear himself to the Ferrari faithful.
Is Sebastian Vettel finished at Ferrari?
Ultimately, Sebastian Vettel’s future in F1 will be one of the biggest talking points. The Quadruple World champion still insists he’s one of the top drivers in the sport. However, it seems Ferrari do not believe it. It’s now up to the management of Ferrari to make a major decision.
He may have just five races to save his Ferrari seat, and possibly his F1 career.
Where do you think Sebastian Vettel would end up? If not at Ferrari, where would he race and who would replace him?
Sports is such an amazing passion. A content writer of NBA