Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari fall out

Updated: May 13, 2020, 08:22 IST | AFP | Paris

Four-time champ Sebastian Vettel will quit Italian F1 team after 2020, citing lack of common desire to work together

Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel at Melbourne in March. Pics/ Getty Images
Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel at Melbourne in March. Pics/ Getty Images

Four-time Formula One world champion Sebastian Vettel on Tuesday announced his dramatic departure from Ferrari at the end of the season, saying there was no "common desire" to work together any more. The team named no replacement for the German, who dominated F1 with Red Bull before switching to the Italian marque in 2015.

Vettel said his shock exit from one of the dream drives on the grid was a "joint decision".

"My relationship with Scuderia Ferrari will finish at the end of 2020," Vettel, 32, said in a statement from the team. "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."

Vettel driving his Ferrari at Barcelona, Spain in February
Vettel driving his Ferrari at Barcelona, Spain in February

Vettel, who has won 14 races with Ferrari and 53 overall in his career, insisted financial considerations played no role in his decision. Yet it has been widely reported that after being outpaced by teammate Charles Leclerc in 2019, Ferrari had offered Vettel only a one-year contract extension at a significantly reduced salary. Vettel said he would "reflect on what really matters when it comes to my future".

Team principal Mattia Binotto said Vettel's departure was "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."

Vettel's departure will spark intense speculation about his replacement, with reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton among the drivers previously linked with a move to Maranello. The Briton has indicated however he will be staying at Mercedes.

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