Sebastian Vettel says he has no intention of “running away” from the Ferrari Formula 1 team before the end of the 2020 season.
Some observers believe that the teams who have already made big signings for 2021 would be prepared to swap their drivers early – with Fernando Alonso going to Renault, Daniel Ricciardo to McLaren, and Carlos Sainz to Ferrari – if Vettel vacates his seat and sets the ball rolling.
However the four-time world champion insists that he has unfinished business at the Maranello outfit, and wants to see out the year.
“No I don't think so,” he said when asked in an interview with F1 if an early departure was possible. “So I'm not running away from it. I think I have something to prove mostly to myself. And that's why I'm here for.
“Obviously a lot of guys in the team have given so much to me in the last couple of years. And just out of respect I want to give that support back and bring it to a worthy end, so I'm not at all even considering running away.”
On Thursday Vettel conceded that it will be a “challenging” season for the team.
“I think we have great times, we had some difficult times too. But I think we are all realists to make sure we get the most out of the season.
“Obviously, we by the looks of it have a challenging season ahead of us. But I'm certainly trying to do what I can, and I think and I feel the team's trying to do the same.”
McLaren boss Andreas Seidl confirmed that the Woking team is not anticipating a shuffle that would see Ricciardo arriving before the end of this season.
“That’s not something that we are looking into at all,” said Seidl when asked by Motorsport.com. “I’m happy with the line-up and with the set-up we have in the team at the moment, Carlos [Sainz] and Lando [Norris] are doing a sensational job on track and off track.
“And it’s important to complete the season like that, and at the same time having enough time, and quality time also with Daniel to prepare for next season.”
Vettel also made it clear that he still has no idea what he will do in 2021.
“I don't know, this is the honest answer right now,” he said. “I mean I haven't signed anything. I have no contract for next year or beyond. So, anything could be an option, remaining in F1, taking a break, or quitting.
“No doubt it's a very big question that I'm also asking myself first, and a big decision to take. I've known nothing else so far in my life, racing is my life, and as I said previously I know for a fact that if the right package comes up, then I'm very, very interested.
“If not, then I'm certainly not the type of guy that just hangs around just to participate or grab some money. I think that has never been my intention.”
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