Former Ferrari driver Gerhard Berger is of the opinion that Sebastian Vettel may opt out of his Ferrari contract. The 4-time world champion, has won a grand total of 52 races, but it has been a while since his last win. To be precise, it was exactly a year ago, incidentally at the very track the the paddock will be visiting this weekend, Spa Francorchamps.
“I am convinced that we will stand on the top step this year,” Vettel confidently told Blick newspaper ahead of this weekend’s race.
“We will certainly not give up. We are actually pushing the development of the car and I feel like the problems I had with the rear are now not as bad.”
However, one had to admit that there are uncertainties about the German driver’s future. The 32-year-old has confessed that he has grown disillusioned with modern F1.
According to Finland’s Turun Sanomat newspaper, there is a clause in Vettel’s contract. Apparently, it is valid also for the 2020 season, and it would allow the German to leave the Ferrari team. The exact specifics say that if he is outside the top three drivers in the championship, he is free to leave.
The report further claimed that Sebastian Vettel could return to Red Bull, the team that helped him win all of his four titles.
However, Berger feels that Sebastian Vettel could walk away from the sport altogether.
“Sebastian is a very intelligent guy and certainly he has a lot of other aspects to his life,” the former Ferrari driver told DPA news agency. “He is very family-oriented, he has children, and he has a lot of money — he doesn’t need any more. His heart is very much with his family and his old motorcycles and cars.”
“I can well imagine that he wakes up one morning and says ‘it’s all getting on my nerves, I’m doing something else or I’m going to drive cars that are more fun and not operating under such complex rules’,” said Berger.“It’s not like Sebastian is not good at surprises.”
The Austrian revealed that Vettel’s situation at the Maranello outfit is far from ideal. Especially since he is not winning and is being overshadowed by younger teammate Charles Leclerc, as silly mistakes also creep in and contribute to his downfall.
“He is running out of time,” Berger said. “It’s a bit different to Michael (Schumacher), who was much stricter with his team and guided it more, which is not a criticism of Sebastian Vettel. Sebastian is very clever and hardworking, it’s just not his nature. It’s the management’s duty to make the team work.”