Sebastian Vettel might have just a few races to save his Ferrari and possibly his Formula One career. According to media reports, the former quadruple world champion will have five races to make his case for a 2021 drive. Ferrari have been linked with a move to bring Lewis Hamilton, or might promote a youngster from their driver academy. The first option is likely, as Hamilton’s contract expires in 2020.
Vettel has endured a rough couple of seasons. Driving errors in the second half of the 2018 season ultimately cost him the championship. During 2019, his misfortune continued. He spun out at Monza and received a penalty. He collided with team mate Charles Leclerc at the Brazilian Grand Prix. His relationship with his team mate has not been cordial. Even during the Russian Grand Prix, Leclerc said Vettel had broken a team agreement about swapping places.
Heading into 2020, Ferrari need to plan for the 2021 season. Major regulatory changes will make it a new era of racing. Charles Leclerc’s contract runs till 2022. Given his youth, he’ll be with the team for the foreseeable future. It mean’s that Sebastian Vettel, whose contract ends at the conclusion of the 2020 season will be fighting for his seat.
The persistent nature of errors over the last couple of seasons have seen Ferrari start searching for a possible replacement. Lewis Hamilton recently met the chairman of Ferrari, but it’s likely he could bring Toto Wolff along with him. Such a prospect would be very enticing for Ferrari.
When speaking about Vettel’s long term prospects, Ferrari Team principal Mattia Binotto was quite candid.
“We have to see the performance, the way he adapts to the car and his motivation for the future. It’s not about whether he makes mistakes or not. It’s really about how he sees his future and how we see our team. Ferrari has the advantage that we are very popular among the drivers. We are in a privileged situation.”
Binotto has indicated that the team will be open to all options in the driver market. As the team wants to get a clearer picture for 2021 by the Spanish Grand Prix, Sebastian Vettel now has only 5 races to save his Ferrari and possibly his Formula One career.
A stellar performance over the first five races, should put him back in consideration for a drive. If not Ferrari, other teams would be interested in signing him Sebastian Vettel has admitted he made a string of errors and that’s cost him. However he’s indicated that he is prepared to fight for his seat in the team.
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