SEBASTIAN VETTEL QUITS FERRARI

Sebastian Vettel is leaving team Scuderia Ferrari at the end of this season (whenever that may be). The 32 year-old German-born Ferrari driver has been with the legendary Italian team since 2015 when he left a highly successful stint at Red Bull Racing that earned him four World Championships on the trot. His arrival at Ferrari was met with excitement and expectation, especially partnering Kimi Raikkonen, but has unfortunately not produced anything near what he achieved at Red Bull. The best Championship position he has achieved at Ferrari was runner-up in the 2019 season.

Mind you his departure from Red Bull was not amicable either. The team, particularly team principal Christian Horner, felt blindsided as they thought they were still negotiating with him in good faith when he announced his departure. And that he negotiated his own Ferrari contract means he had little proper advice and that might now work to his disadvantage as teams never forget, even when they were not the “victims” themselves. The arrival of Frenchman Charles Leclerc has been quite uncomfortable for Vettel who was the team’s number one driver from day one. Leclerc has outqualified him and outpaced him more times than even Ferrari care to count. His on-track form has also fallen and his temper has led to several unwarranted outbursts, as well as championship-affecting incidents. A number of times Vettel has driven the fastest car on the track but failed to capitalise on it through self-defeating driver errors. For now there is no word on where he will be moving.

Speculation is rife that Mercedes-AMG number one and current World Champion Lewis Hamilton will be filling in the soon-to-be vacant seat at Ferrari. Rumours of that move have been flying around for a couple of seasons now but were always squashed by the reluctance of Vettel to leave. Now that he is going they are certainly flying higher than ever before. Hamilton himself has not ruled out this particular move. In fact, he has not signed/ renewed his Mercedes-AMG contract yet. That is not unusual for him; he prefers delaying for as long as possible, probably enjoying the speculation and perhaps raising his fee in the process. No doubt a Hamilton/ Leclerc pairing at Maranello would set the Formula One world on fire, provided they have the right car underneath them.

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