Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Circuit de Catalunya, 2020

Ferrari to confirm Vettel departure on Tuesday, German media claim

2020 F1 season

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Sebastian Vettel will not renew his contract to drive for Ferrari after the 2020 F1 season, German publications have claimed.

The impending departure of the four-times world champion will be announced this week, according to Motorsport Total. Bild claims the confirmation will be made on Tuesday.

The development would end Vettel’s tenure at the team which began when he left Red Bull at the end of 2014. Vettel has won 14 races for the Scuderia and led the 2017 and 2018 world championships with the team, finishing those years runner-up to Lewis Hamilton.

However he was eclipsed by new team mate Charles Leclerc last year. Vettel finished behind his junior team mate in the points standings and in December the team extended Leclerc’s contract to 2024.

Following the postponement to the start of the 2020 season Vettel admitted he may have to take a decision on his Ferrari future before the championship began.

“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,” he said at the time. “So I think, as I said, it will be dependent on what we feel comfortable with.”

Vettel’s departure would also open up one of the most coveted seats in Formula 1, at Ferrari alongside Leclerc.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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98 comments on “Ferrari to confirm Vettel departure on Tuesday, German media claim”

  1. Aston Martin awaits..

  2. Somebody get Binotto on the phone and see if we can get Alonso in that seat!

    1. Enough with this Alonso comeback. Other drivers deserve better seats than a midfield car like Ricciardo, Sainz, Hulkenberg or maybe even Perez. I’d prefer anyone of those in the other Ferrari car rather than Alonso.

      1. Maybe even Perez??

        Perez beat Hulkenburg in their time. He is just as good as those three that you mentioned.

        1. Yeah, Perez beats Hulkenberg in driving his car off the track when there is a spot of rain. Most often on a straight.

          Perez is great for Mexican sponsors, but a very mediocre driver.

          1. Perez is great for Mexican sponsors, but a very mediocre driver.

            If Perez is mediocre then Hulkenberg is downright abysmal

      2. @krichelle I’d take Alonso over everyone but Sainz and Ricciardo… Heck, I’d take Alonso over everyone, period. It’ll never be boring with Alonso onboard. Specially at Ferrari

    2. Craig Simons
      12th May 2020, 5:59

      Jay – Fernando is 39 years old in a little over two months time. That’s archaic in Formula One terms, and top teams don’t want the driver equivalent of grandfather clock taking up one of their seats…

      Sure, Mercedes signed up Michael Schumacher at the age of 40 back in 2010 – but Mercedes weren’t actually a top team then. They’d just taken over a Brawn GP team that had spent the first half of 2009 building up a massive championship lead and, due to financial troubles and a subsequent lack of serious car development, the second half of 2009 hemorrhaging it.

      Mercedes knew when it took over Brawn GP that the damage caused by Honda’s sudden withdrawal in 2008, despite latent in rearing its ugly head, would take years to resolve. They knew their results on track wouldn’t be fantastic for a while, so instead chose to attract potential investors, through a publicity stunt – they hired Michael Schumacher.

      Had Mercedes instead been buying into a team on top of it’s game, there’s no way they’d have hired him. Greatest of all time status doesn’t change the fact top teams want to invest in drivers they can win races and titles for many years with. And a 40 year old who is past their peak physically, and rapidly deteriorating, will not deliver on that investment. Regardless of how great they were in their prime.

      This is the very hurdle Alonso faces, should he want to return to Formula One. Top teams are looking for the next big thing, in order to stay on top – meaning Fernando would have to look toward the midfield (or god forbid, Williams). And we all know Alonso is does not enjoy making up the numbers. So I don’t think he’d even consider a midfield team at this point…

      …or Williams.

      1. It’s not Archaic. Damon Hill was 32 when he got his drive at Williams and 35 when he won the WDC.
        Mansell was 41, Prost at 35, Fangio was 40.

        Of the 70 WDCs 40 were over 30. When you look at the statistics most WDC don’t come into their prime until late in their carreer.

    3. Someone a lot less toxic would be my recommendation.

    4. Why the hell would you do that when Sainz is a safe number two.

  3. So, silly season is not affected by postponements and we have a free seat at Ferrari.
    Now, since these are new times, I have a proposal: Get alle the team-bosses and (potential) drivers on a series of zoom calls and televise the whole who-droves-where shenanigans and contract talks.

  4. Driver who threw away title 2 years with the car that was envy of the field.

    1. Welcome to F1 … your first season is going to be really exciting.

    2. Kimi was in the same car, did he throw away the title too?

      1. Kimi is washed up, been so since 07

      2. As @john-h remarks, before throwing away title chances with stupid, probably desperate, moves Vettel first had done the work to have an actual chance at that title Chaitanya.

        Personally I am not a great fan, and I know Vettel made too many mistakes in the last few years. Also, Ferrari helped him along as much as they could with a docile teammate. But surely Vettel deserved to be where he was, in a Ferrari, winning races and fighting for the championship on merit.

      3. Kimi was in the same car, did he throw away the title too?

        Yes he was terrible, waste of a seat for most of his second stint at Ferrari.

  5. Ha, if this is confirmed later today, then it’ll bring a bit of silly season entertainment to these (physical) race-free days.

  6. Alonso would be massive and exciting news, but even Hulkenberg makes more sense than that

    1. Craig Simons
      12th May 2020, 6:19

      Alonso won’t happen, he’s too old now.

    2. @alfa145 how can Hulkenberg make more sense than Alonso? even considering age… I love Nico but his time is done… at least Alonso would bring attention… plus you know, he won a race or two.

      1. Alonso would want to bend the team to his will @fer-no65. Ferrari doesn’t want, nor need that right now. They have their exciting prospect for the next few years in Leclerc. Now they need a fast teammate for him to push Charles to his maximum, help develop and setup the car and be there to rake in the points to be able to win championships.

        1. @bascb sure, sure, not denying that. But Hulkenberg?

          1. Why not @fer-no65?

            He is quick, reliable, experienced and readily available for a very affordable salary I would say. If they take him, he will have a point to prove to the world by finally getting on that podium, maybe even have a chance at winning. And he is quick and good enough to keep Leclerc from faltering and keep him operating on top level too.

            Sure, it would likely be a bit of a stopgap solution, unless Hulk really grabs it by the throat and gets a win or two in when things go wrong for Leclerc. But really, Ferrari and Vettel parting is a lot about the team now seeing Leclerc as their top dog and now needing a solid backup to keep him at that level and claim points for the championship. More or less what Red Bull wanted but didn’t get from Gasly and what Bottas brings to Mercedes.

  7. Kinda want to see Vettel move to Alfa with Kimi…

    1. I believe he’s out of contract at the end of the year so could very well happen. However, I think driving alongside Leclerc wouldn’t be all too different to the situation he had with Max so he mightn’t be too keen!

      1. @tommy-c I reckon Ricciardo wouldn’t mind a move to Ferrari whomever he’d be partnered with

      2. Christian and Helmut don’t have analogues at Ferrari.

    2. Ricciardo won’t happen. He had his options with a top car but blew it and if you believe Horner’s and Marko’s opinions, Ricciardo left because he did not wanted to fight against Verstappen. Well, Leclerc is as young and talented as Max. The seat should be for Sainz, who is younger, faced Verstappen and outqualified him in 2015 and could ‘play’ more like a teammate than Ricciardo.

      1. If by ‘blew it’ you mean destroyed a 4 time world champ that was the teams golden boy, won races in multiple RBR’s that were far from a championship contender at every chance he got and made Monaco his own, while becoming known as one of if not the best attacking drivers on the grid then sure he blew it. He beat Max in 2 seasons, and left the team that hadn’t been able to provide him with a championship winning car in the 5 seasons he drove for them. Why would Sainz leave McLaren? He’s their number one, and seems very comfortable in the team. I’ve long wanted to see Dan in the scarlet car, hopefully he nabs the seat, and hopefully it gives him the opportunity to actually drive for the title, if for nothing else than it would be a stellar season of Drive to Survive.

      2. @heming49 it depends which side you listen to, as Ricciardo implied it was more that he felt he could not trust the senior management of the team – if you are Horner or Marko, you wouldn’t want to agree with that position given that it is damaging to both your personal reputation and that of the team as a whole.

        As for Sainz, whilst you say that he “could play more like a team mate” because of his time at Toro Rosso with Verstappen, were there not claims that the relationship between Sainz and Verstappen when they were at Toro Rosso was extremely fractious and difficult? If there is any truth to that claim, it might suggest that any hypothetical Sainz-Leclerc pairings might not be particularly amicable either.

  8. I’ve been a fan of Ferrari since I was a child and forever will be. Since Vettel joined in 2015 I’ve also come to be a fan of him. I didn’t really like him much at RedBull.

    I’m not a psychologist or anything but I just think theres something that changed him since Germany2018. Since then, the guy has been physically present but mentally somewhere else. The mental energy he had from 2015-2017 was just not there. In 2019, it was like watching a totally different driver altogether.

    I am more of a Ferrari fan than I am of Seb and do think that this move is the right move for the team but in all honesty, Ferrari in their current state seem like they’re going to always be finishing 2nd.

    1. I like Seb too. However, he failed to prove he is a world-champion-class driver yet. Drivers at their level might be extremely sensitive towards his car. And that might be the reason he didn’t as fast as he was one or two years ago. But F1 is always a team work. That makes Ferrari miss all the world champions in recent decade. Man, DECADE! To be the fastest cars, changes must happen in Ferrari. Even though I don’t like the Seb leaving news. I believe it is the right decision.

      1. A 4 times world champion has failed to prove he is a world-champion-class driver yet?

        Really?

        1. Yes, titles are not everything, if you give a driver a ferrari and the others the williams the ferrari driver will win, doesn’t make him a worthy champion.

    2. Pawel Jackowski
      12th May 2020, 4:08

      I couldn’t have put it better myself. You are spot on dude.

    3. For me he was the first driver after Schumacher and Massa who I could cheer for at Ferrari. I hope he stays in F1.

      Hamilton’s contract also ends in 2020, isn’t it? There are many possibilities. Hamilton, even Bottas, Ricciardo, Sainz, maybe Russell. I’d be happy with Russell, although he is an outsider for the seat.

  9. Well the name that’s come up the most is Ricciardo isn’t? Not that makes it 100% certain but I heard that he did/does have a option if a seat became available. But we’ll see in a few hrs if the Vettel thing is real then who ever gets the seat will certainly have their work cut out for them against Leclerc.

    1. I used to love Ricciardo, but the ugly truth is that he shined with bright light until Monaco 2018 and since then, only average races for him. The end of 2018 was disastrous while Max was winning and in 2019 we’ve seen more nervous than the usual like in Australia or Mexico. He had his chance, but now he is over 30 years old and with Leclerc being similar to Verstappen, the story of 2018 would repeat itself. It doesn’t help if he want to earn 18M€ per season like in Renault. Sainz makes much more sense to me. In 2019 he has proven to be as fast as Ricciardo and was alongside Max in 2015 and survived from it. He also speaks perfect Italian… much younger…

      1. Ricciardo never had his chance! Not that I defend him for leaving red bull btw, but he never really had a car he could realistically win the title in.

  10. It has been already mentioned a week ago by Sascha Roos (Sky Sport Germany) that Vettel has rejected an offer from Ferrari to renew his contract. The offer was about a one year deal with a huge cut on his wage (à la Massa/Raikkonen). The rumors, still coming from Germany, suggest that Sainz jr is in pole position for the Ferrari seat and consequently Vettel will join McLaren.

    Maybe that’s what their own interpretation. The thing is if Ferrari want to replace Vettel, they must go for a more capable driver available on the market. Ricciardo & Alonso are what Ferrari searching for and not Carlos Sainz (with all my respects).

    1. Alonso will be 41 years old in 2021 and would have not driven a F1 since three seasons ago. Ricciardo had his option in a top team and run away to Renault. Sainz is younger, as fast as Ricciardo, proven to be a good teammate with a beast like Verstappen and crucially, he does not make mistakes. The last two are what Ferrari needed exactly from Vettel in 2019. All Sainz’s past engineers acknowledged his ability to communicate and develop cars as well. He also speaks Italian and you know how this specific Italian team is, and they would appreciate that.

      1. Solid points there @heming49. Also it makes sense if Vettel went to McLaren to replace Sainz in such a deal. Off course it is possible that Sainz has a clause in his contract that he was allowed to move if a team like Ferrari comes knocking, but it would help if there is a bit of a sweetener in there for McLaren as well.
        Signing a high profile guy like Vettel can do wonders for their sponsor profile and visibility. Also, a Vettel out to prove himself again alongside a Norris who is really quick but still has to learn might be a really enticing line-up. Off course McLaren would be eyeing Ricciardo as a replacement as well, who would also be out to prove himself after his stock dwindled a bit with Renault – they were already in talks before he went to Renault afterall.

        I disagree that Alonso would be a good match for Ferrari @tifoso1989, they do not need a driver who comes in and wants to build the team around him. They already have Leclerc for that in the coming years. They need a competent driver next to Charles to push him, to help develop the car and to be there to pick up podiums and wins to support a championship bid. Both Ricciardo and Sainz could do the job. I think Hulkenberg might also be an alternative for Ferrari, as a bit of a stopgap for a year.

        1. Well said @bascb, not sure Vettel will want to ‘start over’ at McLaren, but the team it is now might be much better suited to his Anglophlie humour, and constructive, involved way of working with his team. As far as we know, Red Bull definitely described him as hard working, deeply involved, clever and meticulous, and there’s little reason to believe that’s not true still – but it wasn’t what Ferrari offered for most of his early time with them, and now it seems too late. If he goes there, I’d be quite interested to see him do well and resurface his mojo.

    2. @heming49,
      The age argument for a top athlete like Alonso is irrelevant, it is just a number. Alonso to Carlos Sainz is just like Floyd Mayweather to Canelo Alvarez in my opinion. I have seen drivers of the caliber of Lewis Hamilton taken to school when racing wheel to wheel to Fernando Alonso.
      As for Daniel, he has the experience of dealing with a more explosive teammate than Leclerc and he is from Italian descents and speaks Italian as well.
      While I agree with @bascb that the choice of Fernando doesn’t make sense given his attitude. However, if Ferrari are seriously considering ending Mercedes reign on both championships, they need someone as experienced as Alonso in terms of fighting for the world championship, a point machine that can consistently apply pressure and using mind games against competition. They need to make unorthodox choice in order to destabilize Mercedes who are operating like robots

      1. It’s just a shame for alonso (and as schumacher fan, I really have no interest complimenting alonso ofc) cause just a 2-3 years ago he could’ve performed as well as hamilton, but now at this age he will really lose several tenths, he’d be better than vettel no question but would no longer be the 2006 alonso.

  11. Rashmil Rajagopalan
    12th May 2020, 2:54

    Wow, potential drivers to take up the vacant seat then?

    Current Roster –
    1. D.Ricciardo
    2. C.Sainz

    Outside Roster –
    1. Fernando Alonso
    2. Nico Hulkenberg

    Surprises –
    1. Kimi Raikkonen
    2. Antonio Giovannazi

    1. Most likely Antonio will join as he is not a good performer and easily be made to bend to team’s need on raceday.

      1. They must put some value on a shot at the constructor’s title surely.

        1. Ferrari have always valued drivers title over constructors title.

          1. Even there, number two has to be in a position to be a tail gunner. Antonio just isn’t close to being capable of that (yet?).

    2. You even could add Lewis in that list, not very likely but a chance at the same.

  12. Ferrari can find another driver of equal or better pace for less than they are spending on Vettel. They get someone who can grow with the team, and save a few Euros at the same time.

    However, what if it is Vettel who has given up on Ferrari and not the other way round? What if pre-season testing confirmed that he was in for another forlorn year? Maybe a fresh start with a new team is more motivating than racing an off the pace “contender” and getting beaten by a younger, keener teammate.

    1. If Vettel really dislikes the car, he might even step away before this year starts. Might explain why we’re hearing about this now.
      If he’s retiring, Renault are likely be feeling inordinate budget pressure & may jump at the chance to trim ten+ million from their books & Hulk is sitting at home. If he’s jumping, I suppose a straight swap Sainz for Vettel could make sense for all parties too.
      I’m not thinking Racing Point’s likely. Surely Perez got a better deal than 2 years lock-in for dismantling FI and Lance has the other seat… hmmm unless Newey’s headed that way.

  13. Silly season rumours already and we haven’t even had a race yet. That would be a first.

    I’d love to see them go full out for the 2 roosters in the henhouse and buy out Verstappen’s contract from Red Bull. Christian’s brain would explode and the fireworks between Verstappen and Leclerc would be epic.

    Not going to happen but it would absolutely be the best outcome.

  14. Sweet! I think we could all use a decent silly season right now.

    Ricciardo is the obvious choice. He’s the best available and he wants out of Renault. Sainz, Alonso and Hulkenberg are the other candidates. Given that Hulk has beaten Sainz and Ricciardo has beaten Hulk at Renault, Ferrari has decent information on the relative strength of these choices. I hope they don’t announce someone and spoil the fun too soon ;)

    1. Obvious? Why? Because he did a good season SIX years ago? Since that 2014 season, Kvyat outscored him in 2015 and the start of 2016. Then Max with 18 years old and no experience in the team started to overcome him and in 2018 he was destroyed. In 2019 Ricciardo scored 54 points vs the 96 of Sainz. Cars were similar, although McLaren was slightly better because Ricciardo beat Norris in the WDC. What has Ricciardo proven lately to earn that sit? That he has experience winning races? For that, you can keep Vettel in the team, who seems to have more titles than Ricciardo and already knows the team.

      1. @heming49 you seem to be very aggressively pushing Sainz as a candidate…

        The thing is, as others have noted, is that people are looking at the performance of Sainz versus Hulkenberg and then Hulkenberg and Ricciardo. In 2018, Hulkenberg was able to beat Sainz by 69 points to 53, but in 2019 we then saw Hulkenberg lose with only 37 points against 54 for Ricciardo – you can see why there will be those wondering why, if Sainz is as quick as Ricciardo, as you assert, Sainz ended up being beaten by Hulkenberg whilst Ricciardo was able to beat Hulkenberg in turn. Now, it is fair to say that it was a bit of a complex picture, as Sainz’s form did fluctuate across that season, though generally Hulkenberg was still the quicker driver in qualifying trim across the season (13-6 in his favour).

        With regards to 2018, there are caveats in Ricciardo’s performances at Red Bull. We know that, after Ricciardo announced that he had signed his deal with Renault, that Red Bull withdrew part of Ricciardo’s technical support as a means of reducing the amount of information Ricciardo could take to Renault.

        Similarly, when it came to setting up certain parts of the car which were particularly technically sensitive, such as the hydraulic suspension system that Red Bull was using, there are reports that Ricciardo was excluded from those meetings. The hydraulic suspension set up that the team were using was reportedly not the easiest device to set up – I wouldn’t be surprised if it did contribute to some of Gasly’s problems in 2019 – and being excluded from those meetings probably would have hurt his performance.

        Now, equally you could say that some of those points might also apply to Sainz in his time at Renault, as the announcement he was leaving them at the end of 2018 means he’s likely to have also faced similar issues with being excluded from some technical briefings. I wouldn’t say that the evidence is going to be 100% clear cut either way, but I would be doubtful that you can be so confident that Sainz is that much faster than Ricciardo.

  15. I think most likely Vettel will retire and not move from Top 3 team to a mid-level team. Good opportunity for Ric, Sainz and even Hulk.
    Vettel had an amazing career at times in his Red bull he looked unbeatable. I remember some of those last moments in Q3s when it was close throughout qualifying and then Vettel would just blow everyone away with a pole lap half a second faster.

  16. Can only see Ricciardo taking the seat, which would be massive if he does. His agent must be trying to break the door down at Maranello as we speak. Personally think Alonso won’t be coming back to F1, Hulkenberg I can’t envision happening (matched against Ricciardo even less so), Hamilton will likely see his career out with Mercedes (or switch back to McLaren late in his career if their resurgence continues), Bottas is lucky to still be IN a Mercedes – let alone driving for the most prestigious mark in F1 – and… who else? Verstappen’s locked down at Red Bull. Not likely that anyone outside of the existing paddock will take the seat. Sainz is fast but I’m not sure he matches up against Verstappen, Hamilton et al., and Ferrari like a cool head under pressure. Ricciardo has that, and could inject some serious charisma back into the team to boot.

    1. A swap between Richcardo and Vettel is a possiblity as Ferarri need a good stable driver and great qualiflier to keep Leclerc on his toes. Then Renault need a replacement i think we see Vettel there.

    2. Sainz is amazingly fast. He did match against Verstappen. He outqualified Verstappen 10-9 in 2015 and in the races where none of them DNFed, Verstappen only beat him 5-4. Sainz then destroyed Kvyat that came back from beating Ricciardo in RB. In 2019 Sainz proved that he can make tons of overtakes (Austria and Brazil started P20 and climbed back to points, and podium) without making any mistake at all. He also gave in some quali slipstream to Lando, proving that he can be a good team player. He also let past Verstappen several times in 2015 although the Dutch did not when he had team orders. Sainz is as fast as a Ricciardo who has not done anything special since mid-2018. Sainz is much younger as well. I think it is pretty clear.

  17. What if this is to make way for a surprise move by hamilton?

    :)

    1. Possible but a very very small chance as he is settled in Mercedes and with the best chance to get his 7th title.

    2. Magnus Rubensson (@)
      12th May 2020, 9:14

      Wouldn’t surprise me.
      A seventh title with Mercedes puts Hamilton equal to Schumacher (both on 7 titles with 2 teams).

      A seventh title with a third team will put Hamilton ahead.
      LH was influenced by Senna. So if he sees a gap opening up … I think he might just go for it.

  18. I wouldn’t be surprised if he retires. Or does a Prost and steps away, lets his stock rise (4x WDC on the sidelines), and comes back if a good car and opportunity arises. I agree that he hasn’t seemed to be enjoying it for a while, and faced with Leclerc, Hamilton and Max, it’s gotta be tough if your hearts not as in it as theirs.

  19. Good decision. I hope they go for Daniel Ricciardo now. Daniel is fast, he is ok with a fast teammate. Plus, Ferrari seemed to have shunned their no. 1 driver policy for good now.

    Don’t understand the hype around Sainz. He did a fabulous 2019. But compare his 2018 in Renault to Ricciardo’s 2019 in Renault. Both were the respective first year’s in the French team against same driver – Hulkenburg. Look at who came out better.

    1. How can you compare Sainz’s 2018 to Ricciardo’s 2019? Hulkenberg is a retired driver, not a good reference to say Ricciardo had a good 2019. Ric scored 54 points vs the 96 of Sainz (!). If you want to play that game, bring Kvyat into the mix. Kvyat scored more points in 2015 than an established Ricciardo and scored the first RB podium of 2016 and then got murdered by Sainz two years in a row.

  20. I cheered a lot for Vettel in his Ferrari stint, but Ferrari-Vettel combination doesn’t seem to be delivering. And it seems a good time to make fresh starts for the both parties. So I can’t help but get excited with this news!

    There is no way Ferrari would release Vettel before finding and securing his replacement. Hope that would be Ricciardo! Would bring lots of energy into Scuderia. I don’t know how Leclerc-Ric pairing would go though. Charles seem to be the next big thing along with Verstappen, and Daniel wouldn’t stay for long term I believe if he would be outperformed regularly.

    Sainz is consistently very good, and he might be more okay with being number 2 than Daniel. If I was Binotto, he might very well be my choice. His Renault stint wasn’t very good but in Toro Rosso he showed that he was capable of matching and pushing Verstappen. So might be the best candidate in the current driver pool.

    I can’t help but dream Hamilton joining Ferrari though haha. Ham-Lec pair would be guaranteed to make it into the history books!

    1. Craig Simons
      12th May 2020, 6:30

      Hamilton joining Ferrari isn’t going to happen. Lewis is perhaps Mercedes greatest ambassador at this point, and stands to earn millions annually with them even after his retirement; providing he stays loyal to them. He’d be a fool to pass that up; and Hamilton is no fool…

  21. So now we know why Vettel is getting into eSports :P

  22. Ferrari have had two of the best drivers of the 2010s and have exactly nothing to show for it. Whomever takes Vettel’s place: good luck, you’ll need it.

    1. Ferrari have had two of the best drivers of the 2010s

      Ferrari didn’t have Hamilton, the undisputed no.1 driver (both on and off track) of the 2010s. Apart from the 2011 season, he has been nearly perfect in every season.

      1. Ferrari didn’t have Hamilton, the undisputed no.1 driver (both on and off track) of the 2010s.

        Drivers of the decade don’t lose world titles to Nico Rosberg.

        1. Dean Stewart
          12th May 2020, 7:46

          Or lie to get a rival penalised….

          1. or use cranes, or weave in front of Petrov, or go Mexican cross-country, or overtake the SC, or….

        2. By that logic Nico Rosberg is the driver of the decade since he is the only one not losing a world title to Nico Rosberg

        3. Or spend a season crashing with Felipe Massa while losing by 40+ points vs their teammate, a solid-but-not-so-stellar Jenson Button. Yeah, and my granny is the GOAT.

    2. Wouldn’t call vettel one of the best drivers of the decade, one is alonso, ok, and one is hamilton and they never had him.

  23. Alonso’s head is too massive. Lets get Ricciardo a proper drive for once.

  24. So if Vettel leaves Ferrari… What happens next? Well he joins Sainz at McLaren. It would be career suicide for Sainz to partner Leclerc at Ferrari so unfortunately Lando Norris is pushed out of McLaren.

    Fernando Alonso, now in his 40s returns to Ferrari for a final shot at the world championship!

    Mercedes swoop in the unemployed Lando Norris from to replace Valtteri Bottas, because Meredes George Russell would pose to much of a threat to Hamilton so Norris would be a better wingman (as Toto calls it).

    Bottas switches to Haas and is partnered by a ferrari junior driver, either Schumacher, Giovinazzi or Schwartzman.

  25. I buy into this if and when it becomes official.

  26. The article has been updated to correctly reflect the original source for the story.

  27. Mexico 2015, Malaysia 2016, Baku 2017, Singapore 2017, México 2017, Baku 2018, France 2018, Austria 2018, Germany 2018, Italy 2018, Japan 2018, USA 2018, Bahrain 2019, Canada 2019, GBR 2019, Italy 2019, USA 2019, Brazil 2019.

    13 highly costly mistakes in the last two seasons. That is not the supposed standard for a Ferrari driver, let alone a four time world champion. And that list are only considering the important ones, the ones where Ferrari lost several points for avoidable actions.

    Vettel had his shot at Ferrari for the past five years. Couldn’t get it done, time to move. Sainz is the best option for the future of Ferrari. He is more experienced in F1 than Leclerc and may help him to flip the switch. At least, surely he will help Ferrari fight for the championships. The main deal is that Sainz is super quick but doesn’t makes mistakes. At all.

  28. As a Ferrari fan, I do not really care about the drivers, but to see my team winning. If it’s not Vettel, it’s fine but move on. This politics are not interesting for us. I hope they get Giovinazzi there but if it may not be an Italian the chosen one, maybe Sainz is the best option. Difficult to not think about him after his stellar 2019…

  29. Hakk The Rack
    12th May 2020, 7:15

    Ferrari signed Leclerc for a long term. He’s their numer 1. They’re for a hunt for number 2 driver now, so there will be Sainz (rumors flies the contract was presented to Sainz already), maybe some other good and solid barrichello, but no Alonso, and no other strong driver which may bring rivalry like Senna-Prost, Hamilton-Roberg or Leclerc-Vettel.

  30. All of the F1 forums will be in meltdown during the rest of the lay off. There will be a multitude of fantasy teams, with Alonso getting a seat in every team, I even read he’s already signed for Ferrari overnight.

    Vettel has a lot of money, he’s a very private person off track, we may never see him race again.

    1. He could help Gene Haas out by buying the team….

      Well, somebody did say it was the silly season….

  31. Straight swap for Carlos Sainz I reckon: Sainz is a very capable driver and I think he will be very close to Leclerc. Can’t see Vettel joining Renault who are still not delivering and won’t be delivering for at least another 2 years (this year included). Furthermore Renault is receiving help from the french government so how will a top salary pan out with that? McLaren (for all their talking about lowering the budgetcap) does have the budget and the backers to offer Vettel a decent contract.

    That leaves poor Ricciardo stuck with a downgraded Renault contract, as I expect Mercedes to renew Bottas for 1 year (and then put Russell in that seat).

  32. Ferrari have their future invested in Leclerc to win the WDC but they need a capable No.2 driver to get constantly podiums and the occasional wins to win the WCC + not to develop a toxic realtionship with Leclerc and the team.
    • Just the last part leaves out Alonso, who is too old for Ferrari to ‘invest’ into luring him.
    • Giovinazzi, unless he stuns everyone by taking a win or a podium and constantly outperform Kimi, is also out of consideration.
    • Hulkenberg spent 8 years without getting a podium when he had cars that could have snatched just on lucky one, so he is out too.
    • Perez, Sainz are the equivelant of Ferrari hiring a ‘Bottas’ to partner their megastar. Sure they’re great drivers in the midfield but probably no better than Vettel and i don’t think Ferrari will have the faith that a Leclerc-Perez or Leclerc-Sainz with bring them the champioships.
    • The only sensible solution is Ricciardo, definately better driver than the post-Germany-2018 Vettel, can fight for the WDC without playing dirty games and bring valuable points to win the WCC too. And unless Leclerc’s relationship with Ferrari (who most of his squabbles last year were about wanting to show he deserves equal treatment to the team) turns into Max-Red Bull like, wanting to be the absoloute No.1 and having the No.2 fight for what is left out, then Ferrari have nothing to lose and fear into hiring Danny Ric.

    1. I was with you there until we got to Hulkenberg. He might well be a viable alternative for a stopgap year if needed. He is a safe pair of hands, has something to prove and has shown he is perfectly able to play the role of pushing his teammate to keep his driving up to par @black.

      I had forgotten about Perez, I don’t think he is in the picture really (it would probably cost a bit to get him out at Aston, since he brings so much of their budget with him). Sainz however is something different. He really stepped up leading the McLaren team. He held his own against Verstappen in the STR very well too, so he might be the second building block of a strong line-up for the next 3-4 years with Leclerc at Ferrari.

      Ricciardo – sure, he won races. But then he lost from Verstappen, decided to go for the big bucks at Renault and didn’t ever really shine there. Sure, he beat Hulkenberg, but not that convincingly. And he got clearly beaten by Sainz in a not that much better car last year. I don’t doubt he’d be a good option for the second seat at Ferrari, but don’t expect him to take the fight to their number one currently.

      1. @bascb If Ferrari wanted to wait 1 year only to snatch a big name (Hamilton, Verstappen) then it might made sense to bring in a ‘stopgap’ as you said. But given that Leclerc is their future they’ll probably be looking into something more stable, a No.2 driver capable of supporting a strong WCC challenge who would not create chaos and drama and someone that could potentialy challenge for the WDC if Leclerc fails to do so.

        Hulkenbeng is definately not that case. He spent 8 years in midfield cars and bar some excellent performances in 2012-2013, he hasn’t shown anything that would make sense to promote him instead of other younger drivers. Given his record they might be better if they bring Perez who brought home 4 podiums to Force India (vs 0 Hulk did) while they raced together.

        Perez might be a good choice but i don’t think he’ll get the nod, he most likely spend all his carrer in Aston Martin. As is Sainz but given that it’s Ferrari we’re talking about i think it’s extremely unlikely that they’ll hire two sub-25 years old drivers to lead the team. If he continues to improve as he did with McLaren, then in the future he might get to race for Ferrari.

        Ricciardo is the only one that fits.
        • He better driver than Vettel or at the very least on the same level
        • has experience from a front-running team and it works
        • proven race winner (in fact every race he won he fought hard for the win and it wasn’t handed into him by pure luck)
        • quite fast (3 poles between 2016-18 to Max’s 0)
        • he is super consistent when he has a car that doesn’t break every other race
        • very clean driver
        • very likeable (marketingwise)
        • and most importantly he doesn’t stir up drama and controversies as other do

        1. Well, @black, on the one hand I get what you are saying – why go for a stopgap when there is a for real option available.

          Personally I think the chances of Hamilton really being available to Ferrari are slim – I wholly expect him to resign with Mercedes before too soon. Verstappen won’t be on the market for another few years.

          I agree that they COULD take Ricciardo. But it would cost them. And he is unlikely to take a 1 year contract, but he also isn’t the youngest guy out there. However they do not need a driver to really challenge Leclerc for the no.1 position in the team, something that Daniel would surely expect to be doing. And is he really that hot property? He left because he felt Verstappen had his feet under the table at Red Bull and he couldn’t beat him at Red Bull like that. In Ferrari, he will very much find himself in exactly the same situation of being expected to drop into the backup role. IF he takes the step, he will surely command guarantees and a salary to fit it.

          If they take Sainz (a swap with Vettel going there?) they can build a team with 2 drivers that can last them for 3-4 years together. Sainz has really developed enough at McLaren in the last year IMO. And if they don’t feel Sainz is ready yet, as you mention, then that is where a stopgap year with a very cheap safe pair of hands with something to prove the world like Hulkenberg comes in.

          1. @bascb There are two sides why Ferrari-Ricciardo is the best scenario.

            From Ferrari’s perspective they get a known quantity, a driver who at the very least is on the same level as Vettel. Sainz isn’t a known quantity. Sure he did great with McLaren last year but McLaren (and it is painful to admit) is a midfield team, a whole different level than a front-running team. We’ve seen with Gasly how good midfield drivers crumble under the pressure and the toxic enviroment of a top team. Also last year might have been a fluke. He lost to Hulk in 2018 and in 2019 he beat Norris who was a rookie, he didn’t excactly set the world on fire… So if Ferrari want to commit to a 2-3 year contract with someone and not change every year their line up, they might as well do with someone they are partialy aware of his abilities.

            From Ricciardo’s perspective he left Red Bull after it was clear they became Max’s team and no matter what he was always going to be their No.1 in the future. If he had an offer at the end of 2018 from Mercedes or Ferrari he would definately jump into them. I don’t think he really thought that Renault is the team he can win a WDC, more like 2-3 ‘stopgap’ years until a better offer comes up. Does he think that he can move to Ferrari (or Mercedes) and usurp Leclerc (or Hamilton) as No.1 as he did to Vettel back in 2014? He does. Could it eventually end with him being demoted to ‘de facto’ No.2 status? Sure… but what’s his alternative, spend the rest of his career in eternal midfield? You don’t pass a Ferrai/Mercedes offer that easily…

            All of these are just personal opinions… until the cruel reality kicks back and Ferrari (being the usual Ferrari) announces “Giovinazzi as the perfect partner *cough*penament No.2*cough* to Leclerc” so in the end it doesn’t matter. So cheers :D

  33. Unfortunate…
    But to be fair Vettel has never flourished in the hybrid era, never liked possibly fully adjusted away from the V8’s. Other younger, decent drivers have tended to beat him.

    I’ll be surprised if he’s in a top 3/midfield team next year.

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