Two weeks have gone by since Sebastian Vettel announced that he’d be leaving Ferrari after the 2020 season. His replacement, Carlos Sainz was also confirmed by the Maranello outfit shortly after. The 4-time world champion is currently without a team to race for in 2021. However, that may change considering the chances of Valtteri Bottas staying at Mercedes beyond 2020 looking slim.
Thus The German finds himself on the outside looking in. There’s only one destination i.e. Mercedes, where he can go (unless he’s ready to take a big pay cut or join Red Bull again).
Enter, Bernie Ecclestone with a shocking yet interesting plan for Vettel.
“Sebastian Vettel should take the year off in 2021”- Ecclestone
Bernie Ecclestone is the former CEO of the Formula one group. The ‘F1 Supremo’ also has good relations with Sebastian Vettel. Ecclestone in an exclusive interview with the Evening Standard said, “I’ve been talking to him quite a bit and maybe he should take a year off. Come back in 2022 with the rule changes. It gives him a chance to wait and see how F1 is going to change.”
If Lewis Hamilton were to leave Mercedes for another team (seems highly unlikely) Bernie said, “ I think what he’d (Vettel) like to do is drive for Mercedes against Lewis.”
Speaking about Lewis, Bernie said that he doesn’t think the 6-time world champion will go anywhere else and that he’d only leave Mercedes when he were to retire.
The 2022 rule changes which Ecclestone mentions are the rules for a new budget cap among other things that were initially scheduled to be implemented in 2021. The FIA released an official statement yesterday that the new rules were going to be pushed back by another year to allow teams to deal with ‘sweeping changes and long term impact of COVID-19.
That leaves Sebastian Vettel with a very interesting decision to make. If Mercedes extend Bottas’ contract or look towards a younger driver to partner Hamilton and Red Bull continue with the promising pairing of Albon and Verstappen, Vettel may well be forced to take a hiatus.