Opinion: Sebastian Vettel & Ferrari’s burning bridge

Credit: Yahoo Sport Australia

It hasn’t been the best of break-ups for Formula One’s Ferrari and Sebastian Vettel. After the 2019 season, the new rising star for the Italian outfit, Charles Leclerc, was given a brand spanking new five-year contract for 2020 that will last up to 2024. However, Vettel wasn’t so lucky.

At the start of the Coronavirus pandemic, when working remotely became the norm and sports were temporarily postponed, Vettel was expecting to go into talks with Ferrari to secure a future with the prestigious outfit. Unfortunately, these talks never came to fruition as Carlos Sainz, currently driving for McLaren in 2020, was signed into the free seat.

Now, this has thrown Vettel’s career, in which he has won four world championships, into jeopardy. Will he race in 2021 or will he be forced into an early retirement from racing in F1?

Although we head to Spain this weekend, for the Spanish Grand Prix, Vettel’s future in F1 is certainly one of the biggest talking points in Motorsports today.

Even though it’s speculation, is the German driver in talks with Racing Point to replace either Lance Stroll or Sergio Perez? The speculation seemed to gain popularity at the British GP when Vettel and Lawrence Stroll, owner of Racing Point, bumped elbows (in a fist-bump fashion). In addition, there was reports that Vettel breached guidelines that you cannot mix between paddock bubbles (Mercedes team can’t mix with Ferrari team etc.), as Vettel had gone to a petrol station with RP’s CEO and Team Principle Otmar Szafnauer.

Futhermore, it seems like something might be going on behind closed doors that we may not be aware about. Out on the track, his Monegasque teammate seemed to get every inch of performance out of the Prancing Horse, like he did with the under-performing Sauber in 2018. On the other hand, Vettel has struggled to get his car out of the bottom 10. Could this be down to them not running identical cars (internally)?

Listening over the team radio from the 70th anniversary, Vettel remained silent after the race. Whereas, Leclerc celebrated joyfully as he secured fourth. Despite their differences in 2019, when the two drivers seemed to get in each others way, Leclerc seemed to be full of sorrow and pain when he asked: “Where is Seb?.”

In the end, we will have to wait and see if the driver and team can fix their differences out in time and end on good terms for the season’s conclusion – whenever that is.

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