Formula 1: Sebastian Vettel may have sealed his Ferrari fate

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Formula 1 (Photo by Charles Coates/Getty Images)
Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Formula 1 (Photo by Charles Coates/Getty Images) /

Four-time Formula 1 world champion Sebastian Vettel was reportedly offered a one-year contract extension by Ferrari, and he reportedly called it a “joke”.

Many eyes have been on four-time Formula 1 world champion Sebastian Vettel and his Ferrari seat given the fact that his contract, which was extended by three years back in August of 2017, is set to expire at the 2020 season.

Vettel has made a number of key mistakes in recent years, and that has led to speculation that the Scuderia will look to replace him for the 2021 season, especially with them having just signed teammate Charles Leclerc to a long-term deal through the 2024 season.

While the 2020 season has not yet gotten underway as a result of multiple postponements and cancellations stemming from the coronavirus pandemic, there have already been talks about Vettel’s future with the Italian team. Vettel even discussed the matter last week.

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According to a report by La Gazzetta dello Sport, Vettel has now been offered a contract extension by Ferrari.

But it was reportedly a one-year deal that included a massive pay cut, and he reportedly called the offer a “joke”.

Vettel, who is currently the second highest paid driver in Formula 1, had recently stated that normally the contracts he has signed in the past have been three-year deals. But if he is unwilling to take a pay cut on a short-term deal with Ferrari, his fate may be sealed, and he very well may not be back with the team next year.

Leclerc, to whom the team have effectively committed as their top driver for the foreseeable future, outperformed Vettel last year in just his first season with the team, and as stated above, Vettel has made a number of unforced errors in recent years.

In 2017 and 2018, he cost himself world championships when factoring in all the points that he lost and Lewis Hamilton gained as a result of his mistakes, and in 2019, he nearly received a one-race suspension. Additionally, he was also involved in a wreck with Leclerc late in the 2019 season.

Current Renault driver Daniel Ricciardo, current McLaren driver Carlos Sainz Jr. as well as current Alfa Romeo Racing driver Antonio Giovinazzi have all been discussed as possible replacements for the 32-year-old German if the 2020 season does end up being his final season with the team.

Six-time world champion Hamilton had also been mentioned to make the move to Ferrari, but he has been tipped to return for at least another year at Mercedes. Two-time world champion Fernando Alonso has also been mentioned, despite the fact that he retired after the 2018 season.

Renault, McLaren and Alfa Romeo Racing have all been mentioned as potential landing spots for Vettel if he does leave Ferrari after the 2020 season.

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Will Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari come to terms on a deal for the 2021 Formula 1 season, or will he be replaced? If he is replaced, who will replace him, and where will he end up?