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Vettel and Ferrari: The mystery deepens

NEWS STORY
03/07/2020

On the face of it, it was an amicable decision. Having failed to reach a mutually acceptable agreement, Ferrari and Sebastian Vettel would part company at season end.

However, as the F1 circus reconvened yesterday, the German revealed that, contrary to speculation, the two parties were unable to agree on a suitable deal, indeed no deal had even been offered.

In fact, the first the German knew that he was not continuing with the Maranello outfit was when he received a phone call from team boss, Mattia Binotto.

"We never got into any discussions, there was never an offer on the table and therefore there was no sticking point," said Vettel.

Today, when asked for his side of the story, Binotto only muddied the waters further, blaming the situation on the pandemic.

"We have always said to him during the winter time privately and publicly that he would have been our first choice, which I confirm," said the Italian.

"It's normal that during winter time lots of drivers asked if there was an opportunity to drive for Ferrari, but that didn't change our position, Seb was our first choice," he added.

"What happened since then? I think the virus, the pandemic situation, which changed the entire world, not only motorsport, but also Formula 1.

"The budget cap has been changed, it is lot more strict, the regulations have been postponed from '21 to '22 which was somehow important for us, the cars which have been almost frozen for '20 and '21, so the entire situation has changed.

"Even the season has not started, so there was no opportunity even for Sebastian to be back on track to prove how much he was really motivated to drive for Ferrari, which has been somehow unfortunate for him," he added.

Admitting that he understands why Vettel might feel badly treated, he said: "During the shutdown, as Ferrari we had to reconsider eventually our position, we took our decision, it was our decision, that is our responsibility, and we communicated to him.

"I heard that he was surprised, which somehow I remember if he was surprised I would say yes certainly, I understand it, I think that it is pretty normal to be surprised.

"I think that while he accepted our decision even today I can say he is not fully happy with it which I can say something which is normal, and obvious."

Of course, Ferrari has history... when Michael Schumacher's time was felt to be at an end he was shown the door in favour of Kimi Raikkonen, who was then shown the door when Fernando Alonso became available, and in turn the Spaniard gave way to a certain Mr Vettel.

It's the way they do things down Maranello way.

Check out our Friday gallery from Spielberg, here.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by BobW, 03/07/2020 21:32

"It's all about the Benjamins. Ferrari dropped some big money on Leclerc gamboling that there would be enough left over to offer Vettel a bone. However, they did not count on the loss of income during the pandemic so they pulled the plug on Vettel knowing they could get Sainz for a song. Sainz was already knocking on their door before the pandemic from what I read."

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2. Posted by Bill Hopgood, 03/07/2020 20:52

"@Lapps is onto it.
Timing.
From memory and being too lazy to go back into the Pitpass news, all this happened at the early stages of the pandemic and enforced home detention, which does not correlate to when Vettel was fired.

Then again, was it a case of Ferrari missed out on Danny Ric and then went straight for Sainz before someone else did?

I rate Sainz however do Ferrari think that Sainz is better than Vettel?

Perhaps all this could have come down to the Brazil crash last year.
"

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3. Posted by Lapps, 03/07/2020 18:46

"It would be interesting to know the date Sainz signed and the date Seb was phoned!"

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4. Posted by NS Biker, 03/07/2020 18:15

"Reminiscent of an old movie .. "Lost In Translation.""

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