Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Circuit de Catalunya, 2020

Why an early Ferrari exit for Vettel isn’t the obvious move it might seem

2020 F1 season

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Since Ferrari announced in mid-May Carlos Sainz Jnr will replace Sebastian Vettel for the 2021 F1 season, hurricane-strength rumours have swirled about the future of the four-times champion.

Vettel’s uncharacteristic bouts of radio silence – even when spoken to – and tetchy responses when he has reacted have fuelled the storm. Already he and the team have faced questions over whether an early divorce is on the cards.

There are suggestions a high-speed merry-go-round could be triggered by Vettel’s early departure. After all, we know how the dominoes are ready to fall next year: Sainz transfers across, his McLaren seat obligingly filled by Daniel Ricciardo, in turn paving the way for an early return for Fernando Alonso.

The twice-champion is already set to return to Enstone (again) to head the French team’s charge in 2021. However, so the theory goes, he will be available after this weekend’s Indianapolis 500, so could simply start a few months earlier than contracted.

Carlos Sainz Jnr, Sebastian Vettel, Silverstone, 2020
Sainz will take Vettel’s seat next year
On the face of it, this all fits. Each team has early access to their future driver, and what many perceive as a painful relationship between Ferrari and Vettel ends early, enabling the four-time world champion to devote time to securing a 2021 drive. But F1 and logic are seldom happy bedfellows. The more one examines the scenario, the more flaws appear.

For starters, why would McLaren release Sainz early? The British team, currently on 62 points, is sandwiched in a fierce scrap with Racing Point (63) and Ferrari (61), and utterly determined to prevail in the fight for third.

Finishing in the top three in the constructors’ championship has added value under the freshly-inked Concorde Agreement. As revealed here previously, F1’s 2021 revenue structure includes a rolling 10-year bonus structure for top three teams, so results carry for a decade.

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Under these circumstances, why should McLaren introduce instability into what is one of the best-settled driver pairings on the grid, namely that of Sainz and Lando Norris?

Daniel Ricciardo, Renault, Silverstone, 2020
Ricciardo will be a McLaren driver next year
Consider also the hypothesis from Ferrari’s perspective: Although driver salaries are confidential, our studies point to an annual stipend of $30m for Vettel, negotiated when he was in full winning pomp. With six of F1’s targeted 15-18 races run, the season is between 33% and 40% done. Would Ferrari seriously cough up $20m for Vettel to tend his lawn and plays with his kids? That makes no sense for them at all.

If stability is crucial for McLaren, it is doubly so for the Scuderia, which currently languishes fifth in the points, on course for its worst championship finish since 1981. Would Sainz, talented as he assuredly is, be able to learn all the ropes in this most complex of teams during a heavily compressed season, and still be able to deliver better than Sebastian? A tall ask, and a massive risk that could easily go awry.

The same applies to Ricciardo joining McLaren. A switch at season’s end, with three pre-season months to bed himself into the ‘McLaren Way’, will surely deliver better results with minimal risk. Plus, a question: Given he is on an estimated $25m and Alonso is unlikely to race for free, who pays Ricciardo and stumps up for his successor during these straitened times?

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Early moves of these kinds are not unprecedented. In 2017 this writer scooped one such swap, also involving Sainz, plus Jolyon Palmer and Pierre Gasly. Sainz displaced Palmer at Renault while Gasly arrived to slot into his Toro Rosso seat. But that deal was part of a wider engine swap between teams with drivers used as trading currencies. None of that applies here.

Fernando Alonso, McLaren SP, Indianapolis 2020
Alonso’s calendar looks light after Sunday
Another faction suggests Kimi Raikkonen might return to Ferrari in Vettel’s place, making for a third stint at the Scuderia. But the ties between Alfa Romeo and Ferrari have loosened since the latter’s 2015 initial public offering while Alfa Romeo’s parent Fiat-Chrysler Automotive is in the process of merging with Peugeot. The easy transition of Alfa Romeo’s star asset back to its engine supplier therefore may not be so straightforward. Again, it comes down to a question of money: who would pay Alfa Romeo, and who slots into Raikkonen’s place?

Barring new developments, as things stand Vettel is likely to remain in red until the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix belatedly closes the 2020 F1 calendar on December 13th. Thereafter it remains to be seen whether he retires for good, takes a sabbatical or signs elsewhere, possibly with Racing Point, which will become Aston Martin next year.

Here RaceFans is receiving mixed messages: a source is adamant that a deal has been done and could be announced at Monza, Ferrari’s home patch. Another says that the team has gone off him after some lacklustre performances; and that Sergio Perez’s backers have upped the ante substantially to enable him to remain in the Mercedes clone, in whichever hue it appears next year.

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61 comments on “Why an early Ferrari exit for Vettel isn’t the obvious move it might seem”

  1. In current climate and reason given for dropping Vettel for 2021 onwards, dont think it will send right message buying out his multi million $ contract. If anything this team is stuck with Vettel for bad or worse till end of 2020. They will have fingers crossed Vettel keeps his mouth shut for rest of year and not spew venom their way where they are already demotivated.

    1. Except vettel has already done that. Vettel hasn’t said it straight out but he definitely is making it seem like Ferrari is doing this to him on purpose. Small things like the silence on the radio, his comments about not knowing whats wrong with the car, ect. Just look at the YouTube comments and its full of people saying Leclerc is driving a different car. True or not Vettel definitely wants his fans to think its true to make him look less like a failure

      1. Josh (@canadianjosh)
        22nd August 2020, 14:38

        Don’t know if that’s true Carlos but it definitely looks like Leclerc has a stronger horse under him to me as well, I mean is Leclerc really that much better than a 4 time champion?

        1. @canadianjosh
          Sorry Josh. This is what happens when Vettel gets even equipment. Before he was being given preferential treatment. Consider last season where Ferrari even stole Leclerc’s win in Singapore and gave it to Vettel and then chastised Leclerc for complaining. Last season Ferrari did so much to help Vettel and hinder Leclerc. And Leclerc still beat Vettel.

          Think about China where they forced Leclerc to move over for Vettel even though Leclerc was faster. Think Bahrain where they told Leclerc to not overtake Vettel even though Leclerc was on another planet in terms of speed. Think Melbourne, where Leclerc was not allowed to overtake Vettel even though he was more than a second a lap faster. Think Baku where they left Leclerc out on old tyres. Think Austria where they brought Leclerc in early for no reason. Think Canada where they left Leclerc out on old tyres. No sufficiently good explanations for these unless they were designed to give Vettel the edge – and to be fair Ferrari did state clearly at the start of the season that they would definitely be favoring Vettel.

        2. @canadianjosh Vettel however, seems to be quite demotivated and ill at ease with the car and his team, and any difficulties in his working relationship with the team are not going to be helping him with a car that seems to bee rather difficult to drive. I would be rather more surprised if, in those circumstances, Vettel’s performances hadn’t dipped because of that.

        3. He won those championships against a mediocre at best teammate. He was seen off by Ricardo who isn’t really setting the world on fire and now Leclerc. He had a good car for a few years and took advantage of it. Think Bottas if someone like Hulkenburg or Kvyat was his teammate.

          1. Ricardo who isn’t really setting the world on fire

            I don’t think @carlosmedrano will be happy that you misspelled Daniel’s name, @darryn ;)

        4. Seb was very good at mastering the countertintuitive blown diffuser of those overwhelmingly dominant RBRs which MW never quite got the hang of. This made him a 4xWDC while running mostly in cruise control. Otherwise he was very rarely brilliant (let’s make an exception for his maiden victory with Toro Rosso), Without the blown diffuser Seb has been quite average and failure prone, and both Dan Ric and Charles Leclerc have easily dominated him. I won’t say that those 4 WDCs were undeserved, but he got them by just one trick, not by mastering the full package. There have been many better drivers with less or none WDCs.

  2. Vettel’s current performance in the car is by far the least of the problems facing the Scuderia right now…

  3. Personally I hope he sees the season out and finds another drive for 2021. This looking increasingly unlikely though.

    A sabbatical from F1 would probably do him good if he could maintain his motivation to come back. But then what? A drive in 2022 in any competitive car seems unlikely. Who knows what the rule changes will bring though.

    1. I’m thinking he needs a good weekend or two, or three, to try and make sure Aston still want him. Probably that’s what it’s about now, and not really about Ferrari at all.

  4. The early release could only be done if asked by Vettel himself. Maybe that’s why he’s getting the cold shoulder treatment.

    But his behaviour remind me a lot of his 2014 departure from RedBull. At that time people tended to blame Marko for the awkward situation. But Marko is nowhere near now and his behaviour is striking similar. I think a sabbatical year would do him wonders.

    1. That’s a good point about 2014. His performance nose-dived. I think Vettel would have been a decent number 2 at Ferrari, while the team build the care around Leclerc, but clearly a 4x champion isn’t going to accept that, plus he needs a car adapted to his driving style (lots of rear downforce, hence all the spinning over the last few years when he’s lacked that). But even so, just dumping a guy who has led the team for years was seriously shoddy behaviour from Ferrari. You can understand Vettel’s demeanour entirely. At the same time, as @gpfacts says, Vettel being sullen on the radio is the least of Ferrari’s problems. Having their lead driver finish a race next time might be a good place to start.

      1. Hiland (@flyingferrarim)
        23rd August 2020, 5:26

        First off, Ferrari didn’t dump him. Ferrari simply didn’t want to extend the current contract and move on. I would not call that a dumping. It’s a business decision and isn’t shoddy from the least. We see how many people get let go or switch teams. Nothing is forever and Ferrari, up to this point, has honored their contract with Vettel. I honestly do not understand why folks are so upset on this. Yes, he’s a 4x WDC. But let me ask, what has Vettel accomplished lately that Ferrari “must” re-acquire his services? How many mistakes has he made the past few years along with defying team strategies constantly (he has not been a team player with Lec)? He’s been at Ferrari for 6 season’s now, what does he have to show for it?

        Now, is Vettel getting the exact same car as Lec… probably not. But I doubt the difference between the two are all that different. Vettel over his tenure has had the luxury of being the de facto number 1 that gets the latest and best upgrades. Now, he’s seeing what it’s like to be the de facto number 2 driver that Lec was last season. Vettel is not rising to the occasion to prove Ferrari is wrong in not extending his contract. Sorry, I think Vettel is out of excuses atm.

        1. They did dump him, though, in the sense that he had no idea they’d simply not be signing him – no contract negotiation at all. This is after being the lead driver for years, very comfortably outperforming Raikkonen (a driver whose nonchalantly mediocre performance level Ferrari seemed perfectly happy with for years!) and helping develop the car that competed closely with Mercedes in 2017 and 2018. Leaving aside his driving style and need for lots of rear downforce, Vettel’s flaw has always been losing his cool under close racing and making big errors as a consequence. In those two seasons, though, more than half the faults were the teams – tactical and mechanical. That added a lot of pressure on the driver (similar to Hamilton under McLaren at the end). It’s also the case, I think, that Ferrari’s aggressive ‘us versus the rest of the world’ demeanour over those two years – check out Joe Saward for his take on this – contributed to Vettel’s meltdown with Hamilton at Baku 2017, which can be identified as the start of their snowballing driver and team troubles. So Ferrari mis-management plays a big part in Vettel’s own issues. I get that Ferrari have to move on, Leclerc is very talented and the future can be built around him – and he can drive around car issues better. And perhaps another ‘second’ driver would make a better match. Yet I expected they’d at least have advised Vettel earlier that he wasn’t going to be resigned. I think they owed him that.

          1. Hiland (@flyingferrarim)
            23rd August 2020, 13:59

            I will agree that Ferrari at a minimum owed Vettel to be in the loop with Ferrari’s plan(s) to move on from him. That I agree with you 100%. Now, maybe our definitions of “dumping” are a bit different. I term it along with a sacking which would mean that Ferrari just flat out prematurely ended the agreement between the two. Lets also remember that Ferrari is in complete disarray and the team is a mess right now. I have not seen that team so clueless since the 80’s and I’m afraid they may waste away the talents of Leclerc if they don’t straighten the ship soon.

            I also agree that Ferrari have done a poor job in putting their drivers in the best position possible in races. Have no idea what Ferrari’s issues are with strategies but more times than not they are atrocious in that department (RBR is probably the best in this area). They have always been really poor with strategic decisions in races (minus the Schumacher/Brawn era). That in itself does not resolve Vettel with his mistakes though. That is just another excuse. A 4x WDC should be able to handle the extra pressures that comes a long with that. If he can’t, Vettel is not worth the $40M Ferrari pay him. When a young kid comes a long and is able to deliver in tough situations and he can’t. That is telling imo. I mean look how hard Lec was hounded by Merc at Imola last year and kept his cool.

          2. @flyingferrarim Sure, I can see why Ferrari saw the battle with Mercedes-Hamilton unfold and realized they needed a driver without Vettel’s loss of cool (or miscalculations) under close racing to have a chance to beat that pairing. They did know who they were signing, though, given his early reputation for crashing. Personally I thought Leclerc was treated too leniently at Imola (getting b+w flagged and then moving twice under braking, plus cutting a corner to save position – it’s Italy though, enough said). More a case of him exploiting more on-off stewarding, though, rather than a reflection of his temperament and talent.

          3. Hiland (@flyingferrarim)
            24th August 2020, 13:47

            I think you miss interpreted my meaning of mistakes giving your sarcasm. It is one thing to make a mistake here and there (we all make them). That I think is expected as none of these drivers are perfect (I get that). However, Vettels mistakes have seem to be a more frequent occurrence the past two to three years. My point was trying to point that out.

            As far as your Leclerc point, that has nothing to do with what I was talking about. I agree, he pushed the envelope in his defense tactics sure. But my point was, outside of the tactics he took, that he didn’t melt under pressure from a 5x WDC (now 6x WDC). Add in the fact that he was hounded/pressured for pretty much the entire race! You put Vettel in that position, I’m not confident he keeps it together and ahead IMO.

          4. @flyingferrarim I’m well capable of sarcasm but can’t detect anything sarcastic in my reply to you. If you felt that, sorry, it was certainly unintentional. I actually thought (still think) our opinions are pretty close on this subject. Have a good day.

          5. Hiland (@flyingferrarim)
            24th August 2020, 20:20

            No need to apologize, I didn’t take it in ill. I can be a sarcastic individual so I absorbed it as such. It can be hard, at times, to work out the tone of other peoples text. Have a good as well!! :)

    2. Why can the only release be requested by Vettel? They need to fire him immediately. His sulky, petulant behavior looks bad on Ferrari.

      1. Maybe It’s cheaper to let him finish than paying him to leave? For me he should have been shown the door the day after Baku, when he bumped wheels with Hamilton behind the safety car.

        1. That makes a lot of sense. “….. Charlie” and playing bumper cara in Baku is enough. Exit please

    3. I would think that it is much easier for the team to fire a driver than a for any driver to leave a team mid-season.

  5. What of Red Bull? They might be better off with Vettel over Albon. That leaves Ferrari to fill the seat with an available driver. Hulkenburg and Alonso come to mind.

    1. Josh (@canadianjosh)
      22nd August 2020, 14:43

      But what happens when Seb or lets say if Seb can’t keep up to Max? Does that mean he’s done in F1 because getting beaten by two young kids talented as they are would be devastating for him. He needs a midfield drive at this point. There’s no shame in it, just look at Kimi’s amazing career.

      1. I don’t think there is any way Seb could get near Max and the latter will obviously get preferential treatment so Seb would be back to the situation he is in now.
        I think Albon is doing OK but not great. Give him the rest of the year – he needs more experience.
        Albon may be a better driver than Seb at this point in time and he is much cheaper.

        1. I don’t know, both are terrible, but the cost factor is ofc enough reason to keep albon, or at least not take vettel.

        2. Albon needs a bit time to adjust his driving style a bit. And Vettel is not going to be nr.2 next to Max (even if he gets the same car)

  6. Interesting stuff, but I believe within the realm of the possible, as most teams would want their new boys as early as they can, McLaren too. Sainz seems unsettled with new boy Norris on good form this year, and would surely like to save his reputation from being beaten by him, and Ricciardo seems to have been the team’s preferred choice anyway (saying how they’ve been wanting him for a long time, and to Sainz how fine it would be for him to seek a job at Ferrari etc).

    Vettel is almost purposefully doing bad out of spite, so why keep him despite the cost. The points he’s losing will in some measure weigh up for that (unless Sainz can do no better). They have anyway given up on the season, and surely see this year as transitional, and Vettel’s development input can’t be that valuable, especially as they’ve said they are on a long term plan with Leclerc and Sainz.

    The only doubt is whether Renault will want to keep paying for Ricciardo at McLaren, but don’t you think Alonso would come early for free? I think he might.

    1. Hiland (@flyingferrarim)
      23rd August 2020, 5:38

      I think its all in the contract probably. Both would have to agree to terms to part early. However, it may not be as easy as it may seem. If they part ways early, where would Vettel go? Surely, he would like to drive for the remainder of the season, right? After all, he needs to perform to show possible landing spots he could be guy. On Ferrari’s end, you are eating that contract one way or another and bringing in another driver would just cost more and how much value would they actually bring in. Moving to get Sainz to Ferrari, Ric to McLaren, and who to Renault early? The logistics of making that work would be a headache even if all parties are in agreement. Renault would be hurt the most out of all that!

  7. Personally, I think it will be Vettel and Perez at Aston Martin next year, with Stroll in either a 1 year deal with another team or in a test role. Perez will be off elsewhere for 2022, and Stroll will be back.

    1. I think its a done deal between Aston M and Vettel. Lance Stroll is not going anywhere. Father owns the team…

      1. @blutto Lance did give an interview a few weeks ago where he was asked if he was prepared to be moved aside by his dad in favour of Vettel, and his response was “If he cut me from the team then no hard feelings…it’s just business, it’s just how it goes sometimes…I’d take it on the chin, move on and live to fight another day.”

        Some of the comments he has made recently suggest he would be prepared to take the hit and move aside if the team wanted him to move. That said, as noted in the article, I am not so sure it is a done deal – I would not be surprised if some of Vettel’s recent performances might have made given the team some food for thought.

      2. His father is chairman of the group owning the team. I think money is more important than a racing seat for lance, as far as the others are concerned. Father stroll doesnt own majority equity

      3. From what I could see, Papa Stroll’s ownership of the two entities in play is a lot more dilute than most people seem to think, it’s slices, loans and consortiums all the way down.
        RP needs to perform on track, and AM needs to quickly dig itself out of a hole in a depressed market. I’m not saying it’s the case, but if Vettel gives a marketing edge to AM and Perez turns up with some more of Carlos Slim’s money then junior could be looking for a seat regardless of merit.

    2. If Racing Point gets rid of Perez and takes on Vettel, they are idiots. He simply isn’t worth the money. Perez is a solid driver and for whatever reason Vettel isn’t anymore.
      Hell, I’d keep Lance rather than bring Vettel in – he’s a lot cheaper and will get better as time goes on.

  8. Sebastian Vettel must be given his last chance in Belgian GP. Sebastian has 3 wins in Belgium (2011, 2013, 2018). Although he has not been in top5 so far this season, Spa track is the best track for him to show what he is still able to show behind the wheel. Let’s wait and see Belgian GP!

    1. Michel Saelen
      23rd August 2020, 9:40

      He needs a decent car for that , not the truck he drives now

  9. It is only worth replacing Vettel if the replacement can score higher than Vettel. A few weeks ago I would have said it wasn’t worth it as the Ferraris had been awful. But with LEC’s performance last week and the ban on quali mode, Ferrari seems to be a contender to be consistently 4th and 5th. Albon and the Racing Points are beatable with the right strategy and drivers. HUL showed he can outperform the Racing Point drivers with a Racing Point car. If you drop him in the Ferrari it would be very interesting.

    1. Josh (@canadianjosh)
      22nd August 2020, 20:17

      I agree with you Jim, let’s all remember the money they are fighting for in the constructors championship. It makes no sense to drop him right now, by the end of the year they will be better surely with the resources they have. I feel for him but at the end of the day situations like this are apart of every sport and the best thing he can do is keep his head up and avoid lap 1 mistakes.

      1. @canadianjosh it might not necessarily be the case that they will be surely better if, as might be the case, the basic concept around which the car was developed is flawed in some way – in which case, you’re possibly stuck with a fundamentally flawed car for two years in a row. In that situation, it is possible you could end up falling behind in the development race if it turns out your car concept hits a development dead end sooner than your rivals, even if you could throw more money at the problem to begin with.

        In terms of the question “would it make sense to drop Vettel now”, it ultimately boils down to the question of whether a replacement driver might earn enough in points, and thus move Ferrari far enough up the WCC rankings, to offset the cost of buying Vettel out of his contract. If a replacement could score enough points to move Ferrari into 3rd in the WCC, rather than 5th – and it is a very tight battle right now amongst three teams – then financially it could well work out better for Ferrari if the increased earnings outweigh the cost of buying out Vettel’s contract.

        1. Josh (@canadianjosh)
          23rd August 2020, 15:22

          All good points anon.

        2. Damn it, they must have a performance clause, I can’t believe vettel these years performed according to ferrari’s expectations, they should be able to get rid of him early!

  10. Why would it trigger a domino effect? They would fire him like any other mid season firing and throw a test driver in for the rest of the year.

  11. Slow news day? Just crank up the silly season to fill the “presses”?

  12. Now that sounds interesting: a third spell for the Iceman at Ferrari. He will manage at least as well as Vettel, who can’t get on terms with this year’s Ferrari. When they parted ways with Kiimi he was winning for them. Worth a try.
    Seb can switch to RP this year. Bad news for Perez unfortunately, but Haas would improve no end if Perez took over from Grosjean at least for the rest of this year.

    Ah yes, it all makes sense when you have all the strings at your fingertips. :)

  13. I would think a team like Ferrari who always seems to get the best of their deals in F1 would have some kind of clause in their contract to get rid of Vettel on the cheap. Vettel hasn’t been much of driver the past few years, so I wouldn’t be sad to see him done in F1. There is plenty of talented drivers ready to take any seat in F1. Hulkenberg isn’t doing anything I’m sure he’d be happy to drive even a bad Ferrari for the rest of the year.

  14. Time to retire Vettel. There is nothing more left for you in Formula 1. Don’t be like kimi doing absolutely nothing but racking up kilometers.

    1. Josh (@canadianjosh)
      23rd August 2020, 15:19

      Lol, I think calling it racking up kilometres is a tad bit wrong, he’s racing in Formula 1. I’ve been to the Canadian GP a few times and those guys have the life man, even the back markers.

  15. Ferrari know that if they dump Vettel now they won’t be losing a championship or any wins because Vettel won’t be winning anything.

    The cleanest swap Ferrari can do is to sub in Hulk. No other musical chairs to accommodate. Make it a modern day Mika Salo.

  16. If he leaves the team immediately I think Hülkenberg will drive the remainder of this season.

  17. As I understood it, the rumour was to do a straight swap between Sebastian and whichever Racing Point driver he will eventually replace, with everyone else staying put until their scheduled move. Sebastian would basically start the Racing Point contract early, and the replacement would be able to spend the rest of their life saying “I raced for Ferrari” (something that has, historically, led to the occasional “heart over head” call, as Racing Point’s longer-serving members know all too well).

    1. If you’re thinking Fizicella [can’t even spell it now!] in 2009 he went from fighting at the front in Spa to Ferrari and a car he could not drive, followed by oblivion within the ranks of the Scuderia. Is he still there wearing red and wandering about the garage in some sort of team role? Probably.

  18. The idea that Racing Point would hire Seb…. That totally disqualifies everyone there. I would be gutted to see such poor decision making. 4xWDC is what they saw and never looked beyond. I simply cant believe this multi million business is run on sentiment. The guy has NEVER been a good racing driver. A one lap miracle perhaps but overall had nnever ever shown any racing skills when not starting from the front row and easily pulling away.

    1. Indeed, absolutely terrible decision. I would take stroll over vettel and I’m not lawrence, and I’m not just talking money, I’m talking performance. Perez > vettel is no question.

  19. This article could be a lot shorter if focus stayed on Ferrari and Vettel.

    Would Ferrari fire Sebastian? they might want to, but it’s costly. That’s already the first barrier. And if that barrier is to be lifted, then you’d start to ask McLaren if they’d release Sainz early, which they’d not. Then, who Ferrari would call to replace Sebastian for the rest of the year? the answer is probably limited to Hulkenberg, or maybe even Kubica if you’re feeling bold… but that’s about it.

    Going as far as even commenting about Ricciardo at Renault seems a bit too far…

  20. playstation361
    24th August 2020, 20:29

    We will have to wait and see what Vettel does.

  21. Someone please give Carlos Sainz a parachute so he can bail out of the Kamikaze flight that Ferrari is on. I can’t imagine anyone wanting to drive for Ferrari next year. Esp. after their corruption with the FIA. Ferrari should be banned for a year and the FIA investigated for ethics violations.

  22. why would verstappen get preferential treatment/

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