Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Circuit de Catalunya, 2020

Official: Ferrari confirm Vettel will leave after 2020 season

2020 F1 season

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Sebastian Vettel will leave Ferrari at the end of the 2020 F1 season, Ferrari have confirmed.

“My relationship with Scuderia Ferrari will finish at the end of 2020,” said Vettel in a statement issued by the team.

“In order to get the best possible results in this sport, it’s vital for all parties to work in perfect harmony. The team and I have realised that there is no longer a common desire to stay together beyond the end of this season.”

Vettel, who joined the team from Red Bull in 2015, insisted “financial matters have played no part in this joint decision. That’s not the way I think when it comes to making certain choices and it never will be.”

The 32-year-old said he had reconsidered his future during the hiatus in racing caused by the global pandemic.

“What’s been happening in these past few months has led many of us to reflect on what are our real priorities in life. One needs to use one’s imagination and to adopt a new approach to a situation that has changed. I myself will take the time I need to reflect on what really matters when it comes to my future.

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“Scuderia Ferrari occupies a special place in Formula 1 and I hope it gets all the success it deserves. Finally, I want to thank the whole Ferrari family and above all its “tifosi” all around the world, for the support they have given me over the years. My immediate goal is to finish my long stint with Ferrari, in the hope of sharing some more beautiful moments together, to add to all those we have enjoyed so far.”

Team principal Mattia Binotto said the decision had been taken jointly by Ferrari and Vettel, and is “one which both parties feel is for the best.”

“It was not an easy decision to reach given Sebastian’s worth as a driver and as a person,” Binotto continued. “There was no specific reason that led to this decision, apart from the common and amicable belief that the time had come to go our separate ways in order to reach our respective objectives.

“Sebastian is already part of the Scuderia’s history, with his 14 grands prix wins making him the third most successful driver for the team, while he is also the one who has scored the most points with us. In our five years together, he has finished in the top three of the drivers’ championship three times, making a significant contribution to the team’s constant presence in the top three of the constructors’ classification.

“On behalf of everyone at Ferrari, I want to thank Sebastian for his great professionalism and the human qualities he has displayed over these five years, during which we shared so many great moments. We have not yet managed to win a world title together, which would be a fifth for him, but we believe that we can still get a lot out of this unusual 2020 season.”

Vettel’s team mate Charles Leclerc said it had been a “huge honour” to partner him at Ferrari.

“We’ve had some tense moments on tracks. Some very good ones and some others that didn’t end as we both wanted, but there was always respect, even though it wasn’t perceive this way from the outside.

“I’ve never learnt so much as I did with you as my team mate. Thank you for everything Seb.”

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Video: What next for Ferrari and Sebastian Vettel as they announce split?

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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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130 comments on “Official: Ferrari confirm Vettel will leave after 2020 season”

  1. Thank you for your services and close the door as you leave please. Leave that seat for Sainz in 2019, if you may. Sainz proved in 2019 to be as fast as any driver in the grid but with the extra points of being only 25 years old and having already 5 seasons of experience in F1. It is amazing because he just do not makes mistakes in the car. He is also a good team player and speaks Italian. It is a no brainer from Ferrari.

    1. @heming49 I don’t know if he speaks it fluently fluently, though, but even a small extent isn’t a disadvantage.

    2. More respect to Seb please
      Yes he made a fatal error in Germany 2018 but people forget afte Alonso left the Ferrari environment was toxic.
      Vettel brought a positive environment and the Ferrari passion was reignited.
      Thank you Seb for the memories, Australia 2017 when you slowed down to greet Arrivabene after winning the race was something else
      Also your China 2018 while burning rubber and Singapore 2019 photo have been my wallpapers (the latter even now)
      As a Ferrari fan I want Ricciardo, proven quality in a top team over a couple of years
      Sainz struggled against Hulkenburg at Renault, and yes he beat Norris but I think Norris has a higher ceiling than him
      Ricciardo’s race craft is well documented, he’s available next year (I think, I haven’t checked)
      And we tried to get him before from RedBull just last year before Leclerc
      He won’t cause a stir because Leclerc himself is a pretty nice guy
      If we do get him Ferrari will definitely have the strongest driver pairing on the grid

      1. Ricciardo was good until mid-2018. Since then, he as not done anything special. Sainz struggled against Hulk, that is true. True it is as well that he was faster in the beginning of the European season until they announced their plans for 2019. It is not about beating Norris (he doubled Norris’ points by the way) it is about beating two red bull drivers with a McLaren, because of being reliable although the car forced him to DNF five times. Leclerc had trouble with Vettel like in Italy’s Q3, Russia start or Singapore strategy. Seeing hiow Ricciardo finished off things with Max, he will cause a stir with Leclerc.

      2. @george
        Leclerc a nice guy? LOL!.

    3. Ricciardo wallops him, he leaves RedBull. Leclerc wallops him, he leaves Ferrari.

      Who’s next to give Vettel a flogging??

      Do yourself a favour dude, retire now and salvage some of your reputation!

      Ricciardo to Ferrari!!

      1. @nick101

        Who’s next to give Vettel a flogging??

        My guess is Lando Norris at Mclaren.

      2. Which reputation? The one blind people attribute him? 4 titles are worth 0 in determinate circumstances.

    4. Curtis mayfield
      12th May 2020, 10:32

      It will be Hamilton. He wants to retire in the next few years and nobody is considered a complete driver until they have driven for Ferrari. Winning with is the icing on the cake.

    5. Imagine replacing a 4 times world champion with a driver that was beaten by Max and Ricciardo, two drivers that he will need to steal points from

    6. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
      12th May 2020, 11:24

      Sainz is a little over rated IMO. He did have a very good season last year (certainly better than the majority infact, but McLaren was most of the time best of the rest, some way ahead of those behind and the opposite for those ahead. Also, Mclaren had two new drivers to the team and a new engine. I think the car made both drivers look better than they were. It was significantly better than any year with the Honda engine.

      A lot of the races were not that much of a challenge. He kept things clean and sometimes admittedly was outstanding (brazil as an example), but I don’t think he’s good enough for a top team. Just going back a couple of years, he did have quite a few clumsy races and in 2017, he caused more retirements than any other driver. He’s done many great overtakes this year, but I don’t think his racecraft is very good on the whole and I actually doubt Ferrari would be looking at signing him – though probably for some other reason.

      1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
        12th May 2020, 11:26

        Plus I should also add that Sainz has been against a rookie. That along with a new engine and a much better car I think hasn’t reflected his speed and ability quite as well as some think. But that is my opinion.

      2. Just going back a couple of years, he did have quite a few clumsy races

        You can say the exact same thing about Verstappen. I guess hes not good enough for a top team either.

    7. It is amazing because he just do not makes mistakes in the car

      He’s driving a McLaren, so it’s normal that he does not make mistakes, put him in a top team like Ferrari with the pressure coming from all sort of angles (British media, Italian media, rival teams, tifosi…) and I highly doubt that he’ll be complete a single season mistakes free.

  2. Any bets on the replacement, gentlemen? My money goes on swap with Sainz.

    1. @pironitheprovocateur Him or Ricciardo.

    2. Gino (@moustacho)
      12th May 2020, 8:01

      Giovinazzi as a real #2 driver for Leclerc

    3. Whoever it is, they’re in for a rough ride. Ferrari drivers are like the Sith; there’s only ever two of them and the team decides which is the apprentice and which the master. The master has been annointed.

      1. Love this comment so much!!

      2. Very nicely put, @pdduggan! :O)

      3. I remember the Massa Kimi years. That’s not strictly true.

    4. schumi_alonso
      12th May 2020, 8:20

      Bo77as. Then we resurrect the 2007 McLaren pairing of HAM-ALO

    5. I hope it isn’t Sainz. He deserves more than Ferraris treatment of second drivers.

      I also don’t think it would be a good move for Ricciardo.

      My money is on Giovanazzi.

      1. If Ricciardo doesn’t go for this opportunity he will never win a world championship…….well I suppose if Hamilton moved to Ferrari and he moved to Mercedes, but not sure that will happen.

    6. Sainz

      In that order

      1. @uneedafinn2win why is Kimi in that list?

        He’s going to have his 42nd birthday in 2021 – that is getting quite old for an F1 driver and would put him into the top 80 or so oldest drivers ever to have competed in F1. He might be doing OK at Sauber, but he is at an age where his performance is going to be declining more noticeably now – if they want a driver whom they could rely on for several years, as it seems reasonable to assume they are going to want to form a stable long term partnership with Leclerc, I wouldn’t have thought Kimi would be the best choice.

        1. He’s at the bottom of that list, and he’s stated that it’s in order.

          He knows the team, it’d be trivial to do contract wise, he’d sign for 1 year.

          As a backup plan, it’s perfectly reasonable for him to be there.

    7. Marcus Ericsson

      1. Knowing Ferrari he’s probably top of their list

    8. Ferrari will probably try to hire Sainz, but I can’t see Vettel to McLaren, to be honest.
      His salary demands won’t meet Macca’s financial resources + they probably would choose a younger chap.

      1. @liko41 He’d simply have to settle for a lower salary to get a drive for next year.

        1. @jerejj
          Yes, that seems inevitable.
          Some people here in Italy are also speculating he may retire.
          Who knows.

  3. Unsurprising following the earlier news this morning.

  4. If they want a good number 2 then they’ll probably get Giovinazzi maybe Sainz. You want 2 drivers to push each other then get Ricciardo. I hope Ricciardo gets the call up

    1. @johns23 Who says Sainz couldn’t push him as equally as Ricciardo possibly could, though?

      1. As @jerejj mentions, I think Sainz is very much as capable as Ricciardo of pushing Leclerc @johns23. Just look at his season with Verstappen – it was close between the two. The advantage of Sainz is that he can be the second driver in a lineup to conquer F1 (not at all saying Ferrari will manage that, but they surely want to) in the next 3-4 years.

        1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
          12th May 2020, 11:37

          I think Verstappen has improved dramatically more than Sainz. Even a new rookie isn’t looking that much worse than Sainz in qualifying at 10 – 10 not including the time it wasn’t fair to compare them. They were basically matched in qualifying which I think doesn’t look good for Sainz if he was in a top team.

          I think Verstappen will be the best qualifier on the grid after Hamilton. If even Bottas managed to beat hamilton a third of the time like he did, I personally think Sainz would still get pretty heavily beaten in qualifying, even by Leclerc.

          As I say in one of my other replies, I somehow doubt Sainz will be Vettel’s replacement, but we will see.

          Don’t want to make it look like I think he’s a bad driver. He isn’t. This has been his best year but the all new McLaren line up in a very different car to last year really doesn’t give us a very accurate idea of how good Sainz will be in a top team under pressure.

      2. Yep that’s true. Only for the fact that I think Ricciardo is better that’s all.

      3. @jerejj Ask Hulkenberg who the tougher teammate was.

    2. Last time Ricciardo had a teammate like Leclerc was with Verstappen in 2018 and the only was Ricciardo pushed Max that year was in Baku. I don’t know if you meant that.

      1. LOL! Ricciardo was ages in front of Maxi boy, before his car started breaking into million pieces every time he sits on it.
        Daniel’s 6 retirements out of the last 13 races have been so unpredictable, huh?

        1. If Ricciardo was ages in front why did he run away from a winning car to go to that Renault? Max was already better and more complete that why he had no other choice but to leave.

          1. @heming49 would you like to work for a group of managers whom you felt you could not trust? There have been many instances of drivers who walked away from race winning, and even championship winning, cars because the psychologically corrosive impact of being unable to trust their team made that working environment toxic in the end.

          2. He stated his reasons in drive to survive.

          3. @heming49
            He did not run away.
            He secured himself the chance to succeed by an environment made toxic by Helmut Marko and his man-crush on Maxi Boy.
            If your team is willing to let your car fail 6 times in order to allow Maxi to have the upper hand on you, there is no future.

          4. * by LEAVING an environment.

    3. Ricciardo would make more sense since him and Leclerc would push eachother but I doubt they would crash into eachother they have a great relationship.

  5. Kimi 2021 WDC with Ferrari confirmed.

    1. I’ve seen Italian publication said Vettel not even going to race in 2020. Maybe Kimi can step in before rule changes and win WDC this year (or half WDC if this season had less than 10 races).

      1. @ruliemaulana
        I have read that as well in La Gazzetta Dello Sport, however they seem to write a lot of garbage lately. Autosprint is indeed more reliable.

  6. Thanks for the memories Seb. It started so well. But unraveled so much and so fast towards the end. I would have never imagined Germany 2018 to become such a massive turning point in Seb’s career. He made errors prior to that as well. But those errors were probably due to trying too hard to keep the Mercedes in sight. But the post Germany 2018 Seb was a different driver altogether. I remember that “aaaah” he gave after spinning in Bahrain 2019 (Check 0:14 here: It was the moment when it was clear that nothing had changed from 2018. Somehow I knew that the writing was on the wall since then. A championship win with him was never going to happen.

    Vettel should retire now I feel. It would be an almighty come-back if he manages to have a stellar season in the mid-field. But somehow, I don’t think he can do that. Wheel-to-wheel racing has been his weak point (even more so in current times) and he will have to do more of that in the mid-field.

    I really hope Ricciardo gets his seat now. He will be good next to Charles. He was able to match Max for a long time and is comfortable playing the joint-no.1 driver role. Ferrari needs that: two no.1s, not a 1-2 driver policy.

  7. I have a feeling the replacement will be Danny Ric. He has Italian blood, will be available for next season, and fits the bill of someone who won’t clash with Leclerc and cause major issues within the team. But most importantly, he’s a proven winner, and I would rate him above Carlos Sainz personally using Hulkenberg as a reference, Ricciardo beat him fairly comprehensively, whereas Hulkenberg edged out Sainz.

    1. Craig Simons
      12th May 2020, 8:24

      Agreed. I find it rather bizarre people claiming Sainz will get the seat, when Ricciardo is available. Personally I like both drivers, so I don’t care who gets the seat. But Ferrari will surely be looking for a proven front runner, and out of those two, only Danny Ric fits the bill right now.

      1. Sainz or Hulkenberg would fit right in as a n° 2 driver.

    2. @mashiat I agree. Ricciardo is better than Sainz at this point. Sainz seems to be embedded in McLaren and is looking at his role there as a long term one.

      Ricciardo going to Ferrari and taking on Leclerc would also put an end to the nonsense that he was running from a fight from Verstappen too.

      1. I never personally got the message that Ricciardo was running from a fight with Verstappen. While Ricciardo was at RedBull, the team was fully backing Verstappen at his expense, his pole position in Mexico 2018 must’ve been extra sweet because of that lack of support.

        The story doesn’t look much different at Ferrari, however, since everyone knows they have a very public history of 1-2 favoritism and they’ve clearly hitched their wagon to Leclerc’s car.

        1. Another RB favoured Verstappen conspiracy…? Oh boy.
          All Dan had to do is drive faster…. he only finished ahead of his team mate 3 times in 2018…Australia, China and Monaco…thanks to spin, anothe spin and Max not able to compete in quali. Dan really never was faster on track on merit… don’t blame the team for not being faster, as Dan said ‘we both had the same equipement and we also received the updated both when available’.

          1. @Matn
            Yeah, maybe that had something to do with his car failing SIX times in the second half of 2018.
            And by the way, before the unlucky series of retirements begun, Danny Ric was well in front of Maxi Boy in the championship.

          2. @Fantomius…
            When Dan had his unfortunate DNF’s 6 times in 2018 he was already behind Verstappen 5 times…
            Only in Bahrain he was ahead, but they both DNF-ed the first lap.

            Like I mentioned Dan was ahead in only 3 out of 20 races… and please don’t ‘boy’ me , it sound rather patronizing

        2. georgian visan
          12th May 2020, 18:08

          I’d love to see Dany kick Max’s ass in a Ferrari as much as I love seeing Max pass Daniel right now. My only hope is for Dany to leave Renault and that team to leave formula 1 forever. I also hope Max gets 1 championship in the next few years.

    3. Danny Ric has not Italian blood, he only has an Italian sounding surname. As does Dorian Boccolacci in F3. So what, he does not even speak Italian, something that Sainz actually does. If you use a retired driver like Hulk as a reference, use Kvyat as well. With only one F1 year of experience, Kvyat outscored Ricciardo in 2015 and scored the first podium for RB in 2016 and then got destroyed by Sainz in 2016 and 2017.

      1. Mark, Daniel’s father Guiseppe was born in Sicily, and his mother is an Australian with two Italian parents. Ricciardo’s father, as well as all of his grandparents, are Italian. There’s also plenty of videos online of Dan speaking Italian. How else do you reckon he got along at STR???

      2. Birther much? He has enough of the red stuff to get him an Italian passport, father + maternal grandparents born in old country.

      3. @heming49 unfortunately, the claim that Ricciardo cannot speak Italian does seem to be rather undermined by the fact that there are recordings of him speaking in Italian to Sky Italia, including footage of him sharing jokes with Sainz in a joint interview with the two last year.

        Similarly, you can also find footage of Ricciardo giving an unscripted public speech to the crowd when he accepted the Lorenzo Bandini Trophy in 2014. He might not necessarily be a native speaker, but clearly must be at least reasonably fluent in the language to be able to take interviews and give public speeches and your assertion that “he does not even speak Italian” is quite clearly and easily demonstrated to be wrong.

        1. @heming49 @anon
          Yes, I’ve also listened to a couple of interviews for Italy’s Sky. In one of them, though, he didn’t seem to be thoroughly sure about one word, which made me think does he speak it fluently or only to an extent. I’ve never heard Sainz speak Italian except for that one joint interview after the last British GP. Whether he (or Ricciardo) speaks it as fluently as, for example, Nico Rosberg or Felipe Massa is a different matter.

          1. @jerejj which is why I said that he may not be a native speaker of the language, but must have at least a reasonable degree of competence in the language so that, even if not perfect, he can at least hold a reasonably complex conversation.

            It might mean that he’s not as proficient as, say, Rosberg, but the claim by Mark Russell wasn’t that he was a native speaker. What Mark Russell was trying to claim was that Ricciardo had no knowledge of Italian at all – and that is quite clearly wrong.

  8. In order to get the best possible results in this sport, it’s vital for all parties to work in perfect harmony. The team and I have realised that there is no longer a common desire to stay together beyond the end of this season

    Those are strong words not usually seen in the usual “Driver leaving team” press release.

    I wonder if he’s considering retirement, tho… talking about life priorities and being such a family men.

    1. Ditto, don’t remember seeing words like these in recent times. Usually it’s just “thanks for all the great work, blaa blaa, we worked well together but now it is time to do something else.”

    2. I see I’m not the only one that reads “retirement” between the lines of Vettel’s statement.

    3. @fer-no65 I would not be surprised if it is the case that Vettel has been putting more thought towards retiring, either permanently or transitioning to some other form of motorsport.

      His desire to spend more time with his family would be difficult to balance against an ever lengthening calendar, and the comments he has made over the past couple of years does seem to suggest that he is not entirely happy about the direction the sport has been heading in either.

      I would not be surprised if those factors would result in him wanting to leave the sport altogether – maybe turning his hand to journalism, or perhaps turning to another motorsport series where the races are less frequent (perhaps the World Endurance Championship?).

      1. @anon Turning his hand to journalism, LOL. Possible, but not highly likely. Imagine him doing a grid-walk interview a la Martin Brundle and interviewing his current or previous teammate.

        1. @jerejj I honestly wouldn’t dismiss it too quickly. Whatever anyone might think about he’s driving, he’s proven to be very articulate and is a walking encyclopedia of F1. If you’ve seen the “Grill the grid” series he basically knows almost everything there is to know.

          1. Indeed @warheart, he’s clever, interested in the history of the sport, knowledgeable and articulate – now sure it is what he wants, but I suspect I’d happily listen to him doing interviews with the drivers (probably with some cheek), or doing features.

          2. @warheart and @bosyber – that is the sort of thing I was thinking of, not Jere’s rather more narrow interpretation of a Martin Brundle style role: there are many more options than just punditry.

            Given his interest in the history and heritage of the sport, I could quite easily see him carrying out occasional interviews with drivers and designers from past decades or perhaps producing the odd short video or article about older cars or teams. It would be a natural progression for somebody who has both the personal interest in the sport and would have the personal connections that could assist in arranging to interview certain figures or to obtain certain historical sources.

          3. anon,
            Given how Jolyon Palmer, Mr over-promising under-performing new Paul Di Resta, turned out to be an excellent addition to F1 with his post races analysis. I just look forward to see Vettel trying Motorsport journalism, maybe it’s a bit earlier now because I think he can still do well in F1 or in other series (WEC, IndyCar)

    4. I just copied that quote from the article and was planning to comment the same thing… exactly

      1. I’ll add that I think he is considering retirement. He knows he isn’t gonna win another championship, and any more time languishing with leclerc beating him is going to tarnish his legacy… and I don’t think he’s the kind of guy to join a midfield team for his last couple of seasons (like raikonnen)

  9. Going to be very interesting.

    Would either Sainz or Ricciardo want to go from a No 1 position to a number 2? Similarly, I’m not sure if Dan Ric really wants to have to put up with another highly emotional young driver.

    I’m still hoping that Ferrari decide to try to buy out Verstappen – the clash would be gold to watch.

    1. Unfortunately not going to happen, but it would be epic!

    2. Well, whether Ricc stays at Renault or goes to Ferrari he’s going to have to put up with a highly emotional young driver. May as well put up with one while fighting for podiums and wins rather than 7th right? (Although I’d like Hulk to get the seat myself, solid #2 for a few years until one of Shwartzman or Armstrong is ready)

  10. Surely a Leclerc / Ricciardo pairing would strike more fear into their rivals than any other combination. It’s a no brainer if they choose on performance alone.

    1. @aussierod fully agree with that. You can’t say Hamilton/Bottas or Verstappen/Albon would be better than these two.

    2. This is what I want too. I don’t want the end of Ricciardo’s career to be a “what could have been” like Alonso’s.

  11. Nobody seems to have mentioned it yet, but I could really see them going after Bottas. Ricciardo or Sainz would surely be coming in expecting at least a chance to challenge Leclerc, which Ferrari may be reluctant to give. Bottas is used to the role and works brilliantly as a team player… his team has won 3 World Championship doubles while he’s been there supporting. He’s unspectacular and maybe that’s what Ferrari will want alongside Leclerc.

    As for where Vettel goes, I really can’t see him at Mercedes or Red Bull who have their own options to take up. There are merits in Renault, McLaren or Aston Martin, but all of those are backwards steps at the moment. If I had to bet:

    Bottas > Ferrari
    Russell > Mercedes
    Vettel > Aston Martin

    Then if the shareholders at Aston Martin have any sense they’d push out Lance Stroll and have a very solid line-up in their first season.

    1. I agree but for Vettel. I think he’s done for.

    2. AJ (@asleepatthewheel)
      12th May 2020, 9:58

      @ben-n, agreed. A Vettel-Perez lineup at Aston would be solid. But unfortunately, one seat will always have Lance in it.

      1. I’m not sure about Stroll jr longevity in the sport, his dad bought shares in Williams for his son to go racing, but now he owns a team on the up with a great design team that now actually have money behind them, throw in all the Aston Martin dealings and the consortium that wants the results then Stroll jr actually needs to deliver.

    3. Dave St Clare Jones
      12th May 2020, 11:57

      Bottas will not go anywhere. Does anyone except Charles see Ferrari as a championship winning team, certainly not. The money is good so many will want to go, but despite being a Mercedes fan I think Vettel knows he cannot win a championship with Ferrari and he should know. He doesn’t need the money as such he is seeking a championship. Ferrari need to make drastic changes of personell and build a team like that of Merc, Redbull, and others where trust and excellence goes hand in hand. I know the drivers have dropped the ball in some instances but if you really analyse it, it is predominantly a fault of Mgt. So whoever’s taking over Vettel’s position Ferrari will ultimately fail to win another world championship with the present personell and ethos in place. Unless… Lewis goes to Ferrari and pull them up by their boot strings. Which other driver has the power to demand changes at Ferrari. The only other driver I can think of is Max and Ferrari would not dare dream of such a paring as they would want to protect their golden boy Charlie

  12. Magnus Rubensson (@)
    12th May 2020, 8:44

    Hamilton to Ferrari…?
    Aiming for a seventh title with a third team.
    This would put him ahead of Schumacher (seven titles but only two teams).

    1. Yeah, Hamilton is obvious. I have no idea why people are so eager about Ricciardo and all the other second raters.

  13. Daniel Ricciardo had better have charged his phone last night…he’s going to be on it a lot today I think.

    1. I am sure they have already been talking. I think Ferrari has been in contact with him and probably Hulk, maybe Sainz, who knows even Alonso (see his recent comments about having an idea where he will race next year), they are likely to have the replacement lined up before they announced this together.

      The way this was announced, I can see a swap with Sainz happening.

      1. Why do people still constantly bring up Alonso? Alonso may not be done with racing, and he’s still wishing to get another go in the circus, but the truth is that the circus is done with him.

        When you have a team boss like Horner publicly state that they would never hire Alonso because of the toxicity he tends to bring with him, how can Alonso’s vague hints be anything more than an attempt to give an aura of relevancy? In the event that Horner’s “mid-2010’s” comments are not enough for you Alonso fans, go back to the mid 00’s and see Ferrari’s Team Principal Jean Todt’s reasonings for selecting Kimi Raikkonen over Fernando Alonso.

        Both Ferrari and McLaren learned this the hard way: As soon as the source of the venom was cut out, the teams started improving on the very next season!

        My money is on Ricciardo, although I’m afraid they might go with Giovinazzi. I hope Sainz has the good sense to stay at McLaren, where he can flourish and build his own success.

        1. Exactly. It’s like they just won’t admit he was fired by Ferrari for sabotaging his teammate and is a pariah in the sport due to that and his racism.

          He was never even all that quick.

          1. Dave, some of those allegations you are now making are now verging into territory that could be seen as highly libellous (for example, asserting that he is a pariah in the sport on the grounds of racism), so it is an allegation that you really shouldn’t throw around lightly given that it could drag you, and this site, into potentially quite serious legal trouble.

            If you are going to throw that sort of comment around, you’d better have some fairly good evidence to back that up – do you have a reputable source that can back that assertion up?

  14. Did anybody catch Alonso’s Instagram the other day, samurai meme about timing and signature emoji. Could it be related?

  15. And another one bites the dust.
    I wonder when Ferrari will finally learn that their corporate culture isn’t maximising the performance from their drivers or their engineers.
    But then again Ferrari’s corporate culture is a permanent fight for who is in control, and the moment someone is in control everyone else is just trying to bring that person down.

  16. Well it didn’t go down as Vettel was thinking back in 2015. Massa almost did it. Alonso couldn’t do it and now Vettel continues this list. It’s still a staggering thing that Raikkonen is the latest drivers champion for Ferrari and that has now stand for 13 years. At this point I don’t know how Leclerc will handle things after this year but Ferraris’ streak is still a much shorter than Williams’ (23 years since last drivers world championship) but it’s still an awfully long time not to win the championship for a team that has almost always been on the podium.

    1. AJ (@asleepatthewheel)
      12th May 2020, 10:55

      Not to mention Kimi won the WDC in 2007 only because Mclaren and Lewis blew it in the closing stages of the season.

  17. Well, I could see it coming, but I wouldn’t have bet a dime on it, honestly.
    At the end of the day, it probably makes sense from Ferrari’s perspective: they’ll save up on a massive salary and give Leclerc the chance to prove what he is made of.
    Seb is a great driver, has a great attitude and is probably the second-best on the grid after Lewis when everything’s fine.
    Losing the title battle in 2018 in a slightly superior machine costed him dearly, massively more than one could have expected.
    Realizing he wasn’t the number one driver on the grid beated his ego down, propelled way too many mistakes and finally Ferrari understood he could not be the right man to challenge LH again.
    Will Leclerc be enough? Time will tell.
    I would hire Ricciardo immediately, if I was them: they guy’s fast, bold, massively hungry for wins and probably keen to join at a reasonable price.
    They are probably going to choose Sainz, though, just to keep CHarles happy.

    1. Man, Sainz is as well fast, bold, hungrier than Ricciardo and probably would go for a lower than price than Ricciardo. Not only that, he also makes less mistakes and know how to benefit the team and not only himself. He also speaks fluent Italian. And he is much younger.

      1. @heming49 Sainz faster than Danny Ric?
        Just LOL!
        You clearly must be holding some grudges at Danny.

        1. Can you read?

  18. It was inevitable. Shame there were no championships, but up against the most dominant team in F1 history it was too much.

    Not nice to see the frustration come out at the end, but it would undoubtedly have happened to anybody.

    I wonder where he’ll go next. I really have no clue.

    Ricciardo will surely be his replacement. I bet he’ll flourish there, despite Leclerc likely beating him.

    1. proud_asturian
      12th May 2020, 9:59

      Theres still this season m8.

    2. F1oSaurus (@)
      12th May 2020, 11:53

      @balue Ferrari had the better car in 2017 and 2018. It’s just the insane amount of blunders from Vettel that he trew both of those away.

      A German magazine added it all up and concluded that without those blunders Vettel could/should have won the 2018 title with 54 points advantage. That’s a massively better car, considering that Vettel clearly isn’t all that good anyway (annihilated by Ricciardo and beaten even by Leclerc).

  19. I must admit I am a little surprised. I was expecting a one year or two year extension for Seb at Ferrari. I wonder what he will do now. Seb talks about taking time to consider his future. I wonder if he might do the ‘take a year out’ thing and see what happens. I am not sure this would be the best thing for him if he wants to continue at all though.

    As for his replacement. I would really like it to be Danny. I think he really deserves a chance in another competitive car. His talent is wasted at Renault I think. I have a feeling it might not be him again though.

    If Carlos speaks Italian as some have said, then I think he might be a good choice for Ferrari. I don’t think it will be Giovinazzi as I just don’t think he is good enough. I would not completely rule out Hulkenberg. How about a wild card though….Lewis Hamilton??

    One more thing on Seb. I cannot see him going to McLaren as I don’t think they would want to pay his wages. Then what other choice does he have really? Unless he does go back to Red Bull?

  20. Ferrari: Charles Leclerc + Daniel Ricciardo
    Red Bull: Max Verstappen + Sebastian Vettel
    Toro Rosso: Alex Albon + Pierre Gasly
    Renault: Esteban Ocon + Nico Hulkenberg

    My prediction.

    1. @f1frog Seb going back to Red Bull is bold

      1. @f1frog
        Helmut Marko has already said that there is no place for 2 Vs (Verstappen & Vettel) in RBR

        1. inb4 VET marries and takes on his GF’s name @tifoso1989

    2. Why wpuld he go bacl and face Verstappen? That would be worse than Charles at Ferrari.

  21. Putting 2 and 2 together and making 5…………didn’t Hamilton put out a ‘Why would I leave Mercedes?’ tweet a few days ago; and then delete it within a few hours? Maybe he had a tip off from someone in red?

  22. Please give Hulkenberg a podium Ferrari… Please…
    He would be a great choice as a #2 to Charles for a few years until one of their hotshot youngsters in F2 has enough experience for the top seat. He beat Sainz comfortably in 2018 let’s not forget. People have very short memories when it comes to F1; yes Sainz was excellent last year but the McLaren was the pick of the midfield and didn’t have a consistent challenger.

  23. Robert Kubica in, Gio out to Ferrari as 2nd driver.

  24. I hope Ferrari had stop playing safe and double down their willingness to get younger driver.

    Alex Albon would be perfect.

    1. I was going to say the same thing! Alex is a class act and a good sport to go with it.

  25. First 3 choices should be:
    Kimi Raikkonen
    Jenson Button
    Nico Rosberg
    If they cannot bring anyone of them, then they should try to bring back Alonso or Massa

    1. @djordjeps We’re talking about 2021 here

      1. @bernasaurus Fangio won all titles in his 40s or oven 50s
        Schumacher was still good in Mercedes era despite 3 years of total break
        All drivers I mentioned but Nico are still racing I different categories…
        Im sure Button for example still can win many titles and its better option than any current f1 or f2 driver…

        1. @djordjeps Fangio is more of an exception than the rule, and the main reason for that is the fact that World War 2 introduced an eight year gap in their careers (from 1939 to 1947) – don’t forget that the regulations for Formula 1 didn’t even exist until 1947.

          The war also meant that younger drivers who would have started their careers in the early 1940s aren’t there – so there wasn’t the natural turnover in drivers that would have naturally occurred. It therefore means that the grid in the 1950s is abnormally old as it is mostly made up of drivers who were old enough to have started their careers before WW2 started and are therefore in their 40s and 50s by then.

          It is very obvious when you look at the average age of the drivers that Fangio raced against was also significantly older than normal. The average age of a winning driver in 1950 is 40 years old, and for most of the 1950s the average age ranged between 36 and 40 – however, when those drivers finally retired in the mid to late 1950s, you see a massive step change in the average age of winning drivers, which drops to 29-32 from 1959 onwards.

          Yes, Fangio might have won titles in his mid to late 40s, but it is very obvious that owes a lot to the average age of the grid being about a decade older than normal. The history of the sport from the 1950s through to today has shown a very consistent trend of drivers performances tending to peak between about 25-35, then tending to show a small amount of performance decline from 36-40.

          In normal circumstances, once you get past 40 though, the history of the sport has shown that pretty much all drivers have seen their performances go into a permanent decline as they got older. You cite Schumacher, but a lot of people commented that there had been a quite noticeable drop in his performance in his time at Mercedes compared to when he was at Ferrari.

          In fact, I think even Schumacher himself noted back in 2006 that he felt age was catching up with him and he was finding it more difficult to maintain his peak performances, let alone four years later and after he picked up permanent damage to his neck and nervous system as a result of a motorcycle accident. There’s a good reason why Niki Lauda is pretty much the only former World Drivers Champion to have made a successful return – because Lauda was still only 33 when he returned, and therefore still young enough that he would still be operating close to his peak potential.

          By most metrics, Kimi, now approaching 42, is at an age where you would expect his performances to be persistently declining more noticeably, whilst Button, at 40, is at that turning point where you would naturally expect the decline in performance of a driver to start becoming much more noticeable.

          Only Nico Rosberg, who turns 35 in June, is really at an age where he might still be capable of performing close to his peak – but even that would be a stretch. Having quit motorsport entirely for the past four years, Nico’s made it clear that his physical fitness is a long way short of what it would need to be – he publicly stated back in April 2019 that he’d been invited to take part in a DTM race, but declined it on the grounds that he was no longer fit enough to be competitive in motorsport now.

          It might not be impossible for him, but it would require considerable effort for Rosberg to make up for missing out on four years of training – and, to be honest, I am not sure he would have the desire to change what seems to have been a pretty comfortable retirement for him.

        2. Better yet: Jacques Villeneuve, Mika Häkkinen or Damon Hill.

  26. F1oSaurus (@)
    12th May 2020, 11:50

    Finally! Maybe now they can get Ricciardo and get some proper results.

    Although they might still think that Leclerc is really all that and choose to put a #2 driver next to him rather than getting a proper #1 driver.

  27. Man if they could get Nico Rosberg that would be fantastic.

    Then there is Daniel Ric, Seinz also ok.

    That would be my short list.

    There is also wish list… Lewis Hamilton.

    If he could win a title with Ferrari, that would cement him is as a clear #1 of all time.

    Offcorse many a good driver wanted to do that route and failed, Alonso and Vettel recently. And Lewis is known for making good career decisions.

    Let’s see what happens.

    Toto + Lewis to Ferrari, that should make them win a title.

  28. The writing is on the wall. Simple question is who is out of contract at the end of this year is a candidate. Sainz, Hamilton, Ricciardo are prime candidates. Personally I see a swap between Hamilton and Vettel. Toto Wolf is going to go to Aston Martin and that leaves Hamilton with a chance to move to Ferrari.

  29. Well I’d want to see Vettel in mercedes along side Lewis I love those two drivers
    I wouldn’t be surprised if valtteri ends up at Ferrari as the clear number 2.. Also considering mercedes have had Rosberg n Schumacher two Germans there’s no harm adding Seb to the list
    Besides it would make for an exciting season

    Lewis, Seb vs Leclerc, Riccardo/Bottas/Sainz) and Verstappen, Albon

  30. Electroball76
    12th May 2020, 18:48

    Seb’s had a shocking season so far, he’s been absolutely nowhere this year.

  31. Should have done that after Brazil 2019.

  32. Thank you very much Sebastian Vettel for your time at Ferrari.
    You will remain in history as a great champion for your excellent qualities on and off the track.
    It is true that the championship with Ferrari was missing but everything possible was done and that is ultimately what counts.
    At this moment the envious and the mediocre are talking stupid things as they have always done regarding your performance at Ferrari but the true fans of Formula 1 and Ferrari fans know that your time at the team will always be remembered with admiration and respect.

  33. The decision is logical to me BUT:
    1- Ferrari believes because they are Ferrari they are automatically champions: just look what happened to Prost, Mansell, Alosno and Vettel in Ferrari.
    2- Vettel could not assess the situation properly and the turbo era was new territory and Ferrari did not have the best know how.
    3- VET made so many driver errors esp. in 18 and apparently he could not adjust or did not want to adjust to new cars.
    4- He was mediocre in 2.5 (full 16 , full 19 and half 18) of 5 seasons.
    5- Ferrari was poor in race strategies and innovations throughout these years. All they’ve got was burn the oil with the fuel.
    I am not sure if Vettel would get another shot to title and will join a contender team. Fairy tale is probably going back to Alpha Tauri (ex Toro Rosso, where he started) and finishing his career there.

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