Vettel quashes F1 retirement speculation and discusses Hamilton-to-Ferrari rumour

Sebastian Vettel has rubbished rumours he was set to retire after last weekend’s 2019 season finale in Abu Dhabi.

The four-time world champion wobbled to fifth in the drivers’ standings, 24 points down on first-year teammate Charles Leclerc. Vettel took his only win in Singapore alongside eight additional podiums, and took pole in Canada and Japan.

However, he was outpaced and out-raced by Leclerc, and admitted he must “do better” in 2020 should he mount a serious challenge for world title No. 5.

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Vettel has a contract with Ferrari through to the end of 2020, but speculation over the German’s future has been rife for the balance of 2019.

The rumours were compounded by glaring errors by Vettel, including a costly spin at Monza – a day where Leclerc took all the tifosi plaudits by racing to a remarkable victory.

Vettel joked that he would “holiday” from 2021, telling reporters in Abu Dhabi he didn’t know where the rumours began.

“I think I was already doing holiday next year … I heard before that I’m stopping,” the 32-year-old said.

“I don’t know who was the one, but seems they know more than me. Since I guess you journalists are always right, it will hit me probably in the next weeks.”

It seems Vettel is no longer top dog at Ferrari.

It seems Vettel is no longer top dog at Ferrari.Source: Getty Images

Fifth in the standings marked Vettel’s worst season finish since he joined Ferrari.

Mercedes rival Lewis Hamilton also falls out of contract next season, and was immediately linked to a Ferrari move – a move Leclerc entertained. Reports also suggested Hamilton had met with Ferrari’s chairman John Elkann across the weekend.

Vettel said his Ferrari future is “all part of the negotiations for next year, before any other negotiations” but continued to play the funny card when he referred to Hamilton owning Ferrari road cars.

“I think he’s already a Ferrari driver,” Vettel joked.

“No? So no change. I think he’s a good customer. He owns more than one.”

"What are you doing in 2021?"

“What are you doing in 2021?”Source: Getty Images


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