But the disruption caused by the pandemic means he will now have to decide whether to commit to the team again without having evaluated their latest car against the competition in a race.
“I don’t think there’s a real timeline,” he said when asked about his contract negotiations in a media conference yesterday. Vettel admitted he will have to “remain patient” and be prepared to make his decision before racing begins.
“Looking at myself it obviously depends when we will have the first race,” he said. “There’s a high chance that we will have to make a decision before there will be the first race, because at the moment it looks like there will be no race before June or even July. So I think we are all waiting.
“But the main priority at first was to ensure that we’re dealing, all of us, in the right way with the situation. And therefore everything was put on hold. And I can imagine that’s probably the same everywhere else.”Charles Leclerc signed a new long-term deal with Ferrari following his first season with them last year.
Vettel says he isn’t sure how long he wants to commit to the team for beyond the end of this season, which will be his 13th full year of competition in F1.
“Whatever the deal will be like, I think it will be whatever I and the team will be comfortable with,” he said. “So in terms of duration, I don’t know. Normally the contracts I’ve had in the past were all, I think a three-year deal.
“I know that I am one of the more experienced drivers in Formula 1 but I’m not the oldest and I don’t think that there’s an age limit in this regard. So I think, as I said, it will be dependent on what we feel comfortable with.”
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2020 F1 season
- Bottas vs Rosberg: Hamilton’s Mercedes team mates compared after 78 races each
- F1 revenues fell by $877 million in Covid-struck 2020 season
- Hamilton and Mercedes finally announce new deal for 2021 season
- F1 audience figures “strong” in 2020 despite dip in television viewers
- 2020 F1 driver rankings #1: Lewis Hamilton