Scuderia Ferrari has announced that it will not be renewing its contract with Sebastian Vettel, ending a six-year association with the German driver. The contract talks had broken down and although no official reason has been stated, Ferrari announced that the decision was mutual.
Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow and Sebastian Vettel decide not to extend their contracthttps://t.co/LMvLsJZiP8— Scuderia Ferrari (@ScuderiaFerrari) May 12, 2020
Mattia Binotto, Team Principal said, "This is a decision taken jointly by ourselves and Sebastian, one which both parties feel is for the best. It was not an easy decision to reach, given Sebastian’s worth as a driver and as a person. There was no specific reason that led to this decision, apart from the common and amicable belief that the time had come to go our separate ways in order to reach our respective objectives. On behalf of everyone at Ferrari, I want to thank Sebastian for his great professionalism and the human qualities he has displayed over these five years, during which we shared so many great moments. We have not yet managed to win a world title together, which would be a fifth for him, but we believe that we can still get a lot out of this unusual 2020 season."
It's been a huge honor for me to be your team mate. We've had some tense moments on tracks. Some very good ones and some others that didn't end as we both wanted, but there was always respect, even though it wasn't perceive this way from the outside.— Charles Leclerc (@Charles_Leclerc) May 12, 2020
Vettel was paired with youngster Charles Leclerc for the 2019 season of the Championships and in his statement he said, "My relationship with Scuderia Ferrari will finish at the end of 2020. In order to get the best possible results in this sport, it’s vital for all parties to work in perfect harmony. The team and I have realised that there is no longer a common desire to stay together beyond the end of this season. Financial matters have played no part in this joint decision. That’s not the way I think when it comes to making certain choices and it never will be. What’s been happening in these past few months has led many of us to reflect on what are our real priorities in life. One needs to use one’s imagination and to adopt a new approach to a situation that has changed. I myself will take the time I need to reflect on what really matters when it comes to my future."
Vettel has won 14 races for the Ferrari but failed to add to the four titles he won with Red Bull between 2010 and 2013.
Vettel, who has won the Championship four times with Red Bull Racing, joined Ferrari in November 2014 to reach greater heights and emulate his hero Michael Schumacher. "When I was a kid, Michael Schumacher in the red car was my greatest idol and now it’s an incredible honour to finally get the chance to drive a Ferrari. I already got a small taste of what the Ferrari spirit means when I took my first win at Monza in 2008 [with Toro Rosso], with an engine from the Prancing Horse built in Maranello," he had said after joining the Italian team.
There has been no decision regarding where Vettel will head next or who will be replacing him in Ferrari.