Sebastian Vettel was surprised two months ago by Ferrari's message that the team will be saying goodbye after this season. The four-time world champion does not yet know whether he will also be active in Formula 1 next year.
32-year-old Vettel spoke to the media for the first time on Thursday at the press conference for the Austrian Grand Prix since it was announced in May that his contract with Ferrari will not be renewed and he will be replaced by Carlos Sainz in 2021.
"Logically, it came as a surprise when Mattia (Mattia Binotto, Ferrari team boss, ed.) Called me to tell me that the team doesn't want to move on with me. We never negotiated, I never got an offer."
Binotto said in a press release two months ago that the decision to split up after this season was "made in concert." Vettel, who has not yet become world champion on behalf of Ferrari, emphasized in the same statement that "financial matters have not played a role".
GP Austria times
- First training: Friday 11 am
- Second training: Friday 3 pm
- Third training: Saturday noon
- Qualification: Saturday 3 pm
- Race: Sunday 3.10 p.m.
"I haven't spoken to teams yet"
On the eve of the start of the Formula 1 season, it is still unclear what the future of Vettel looks like. There are still some seats available for 2021, although it seems likely that the German will only want to ride for a team that can participate in the podium.
"I haven't really had any conversations with teams at this point," said Vettel on Thursday at the Red Bull Ring. "Of course I want to make the right decision for myself and my future."
"I feel that I still have a very competitive character and a lot to offer. I have already achieved a lot in this sport and want to achieve even more. To do that I need the right equipment and the right people around me. That is what I'm looking for now. "
Vettel did not rule out that he will leave Formula 1 after this season. "If the right option comes along, I will of course take it with both hands and continue in Formula 1. But if that doesn't happen, then I probably have to look at something else."
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