"I never said anything like it," says Vettel of retirement talk


Going into a race weekend that twelve months ago he dominated, taking pole and then going on to win the race, Sebastian Vettel knows that this weekend is absolutely vital for his team.

Montreal represents the best opportunity so far this year for Ferrari to take full advantage of its superior engine power, even if the SF90 struggles in the corners.

But while many see this weekend as 'do or die' for the Italian team, in recent weeks there has been talk of Sebastian Vettel also facing a watershed, with some sections of the media suggesting that he is looking to retire at season end.

Like Fernando Alonso before him he has had five years at Maranello, seeking to repeat that golden era of the 2000s, and like the Spaniard the closest the German has got is runner up, twice (thus far) to Alonso's three times.

Speaking to reporters at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve today, Vettel insisted that retirement is the last thing on his mind.

"I never said anything like it, so I don't know where they come from," he said.

"I can stop whenever I want, and the team can probably kick me out whenever they want," he smiled, "but I'm very happy with the team and I hope the team is happy with myself.

"I'm very hungry and I have a mission here to win," he added. "That's really the only thing that matters to me, winning with Ferrari, and that's what I'm working for.

"Currently we're not winning, you can do the maths, so we still have something to do.

"The next races will be really crucial for us trying to get back to the front and give a much harder time to Mercedes," he admitted. "Once we can establish that, then we have plenty of reason to look forward.

"It will be crucial to do it sooner rather than later, but at the moment I'm not too fussed at looking at 'this is the date it has to happen'. Clearly we are behind, clearly there is quite a big margin between Mercedes and the rest, Mercedes and also ourselves, so we have to close that gap and get ahead, otherwise it will be difficult to turn it around."

Asked how he believes the retirement rumours began, he said: "I don't know who ultimately made it up. I don't think I ever said anything which would lead to that conclusion. I don't know, I'm not really bothered.

"I understand that part of your job is try and come up with something interesting, he added. "It doesn't bother me, you do what you want, I do what I want."

Check out our Thursday gallery from Montreal, here.

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Published: 06/06/2019
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