Contract situation at Ferrari: Vettel holds key to driver market 2021

08-05-2020 16:02
F1 News
Contract situation at Ferrari: Vettel holds key to driver market 2021

Now that Ferrari seems to have designated Charles Leclerc as their man for the future, the question is what role Sebastian Vettel can still fulfill at the Scuderia. This is a question that he will also ask himself and his final answer may have a major impact on Formula 1.

Vettel was brought to Ferrari in 2015 to fight the supreme Mercedes and finally bring the title back to Maranello. In 2017 and 2018 he made a serious throw to the championship, but had to acknowledge his superior in Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton both times in the second half of the season.

Ferrari wants to keep Vettel, but not at any price

Vettel managed to win fourteen races for the team in five years, but that turned out not to be enough to maintain his status as the first driver in the team. La Gazzetta dello Sport was able to report last week that the negotiations for a new contract have failed on this point. Ferrari would have offered him a two-year contract, with an option for more.

He will lose his number one status and he will also earn the same amount as Charles Leclerc. That's about 12 million euros, which means about 18 million euros a year less than he makes now. Although Mattia Binotto has stressed several times that Vettel is their first choice and they have already proposed a two-year contract, this seems to be the best deal they want to offer him.

Vettel has reportedly not taken up this proposal yet and therefore a large part of the paddock is now waiting to see what he will do. There are a lot of other interested drivers who like to sit in his chair. The most logical and much discussed candidates are Daniel Ricciardo, Carlos Sainz and Antonio Giovinazzi.

The three candidates

These are all three drivers with the necessary experience in Formula 1. Ferrari has some gifted talents in Formula 2, the team is not known to take risks with debutants and due to the corona crisis they have less and less time to prove themselves before 2021. The latter also applies to Giovinazzi, who hasn't shown enough next to Kimi Raikkonen in 2019.

Based on his CV, Ricciardo would therefore be the right man to take over the baton from Vettel. The Australian has already flirted with a seat at Ferrari before and, given his age and experience, should now perform at the top of his game. The problem, however, is that he, just like Ricciardo, has quite a price tag on him. Something that Ferrari does not seem to be willing to pay, partly due to the crisis.

Sainz and Vettel exchanging places

This leaves Sainz as the best candidate to join Ferrari. Next to Max Verstappen, the Spaniard showed similar results to Ricciardo and was convincingly the best in midfield last season. Moreover, it would give Vettel the opportunity to embark on an adventure with McLaren.

Before that, the German has a lot to think about in his villa in Switzerland. Vettel is known for not having a manager and doing all his negotiations himself. Not often will one driver have had the fate of so many others in his own hands.

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