Vettel not entertaining Ferrari exit with "mission" incomplete

Sebastian Vettel says not to expect anything other than him remaining at Ferrari beyond 2019 as his "mission" at the Scuderia remains incomplete.

Vettel not entertaining Ferrari exit with "mission" incomplete

Vettel’s long-time Ferrari teammate Kimi Raikkonen has been replaced by highly-rated youngster Charles Leclerc for 2019, which has drawn comparisons to when Vettel was outshone by new Red Bull signing Daniel Ricciardo in 2014. 

This even moved 2009 world champion Jenson Button to declare Leclerc could give Vettel a “tough decision” to make over his future.

Addressing his Ferrari future for the first time, at the launch of the team’s new car, Vettel pointed to the contract extension he signed in 2017 that committed him to Ferrari until the end of 2020 at the earliest. 

“It's quite known that my contract goes until 2020 so, don't expect anything else,” said Vettel. 

“I'm very happy here. Obviously my goal is to win the championship.

“We were not getting as close as we want, so there's still a job to do, and I feel that's my mission and the reason why I'm here, for myself, for the team. 

“Obviously, I like driving, I love driving, I've got a great passion for driving, but on top of that I've got a great passion for this team, for Ferrari, inspired throughout my whole childhood.

“For me, it's pretty clear what I'm here to do.”

Vettel joined Ferrari in 2015 and enjoyed the upper-hand over Raikkonen throughout their four years together, winning 13 races and twice finishing second in the championship.

Leclerc, who has only one year of F1 experience with Sauber, has been widely tipped to challenge Vettel more regularly.

At Ferrari’s launch new team principal Mattia Binotto said he hoped to have the “problem” of managing two drivers competing with each other, although admitted Vettel would get priority early in the season if the situation demanded it. 

Addressing his performance advantage over Raikkonen, Vettel dismissed the suggestion it was “always that clear” and reiterated previous comments that he anticipates no problems with Leclerc. 

“When you are teammates you see exactly what the other driver is doing and I think with Kimi it worked very well the last couple of years,” said Vettel. 

“I think we had a similar feeling for the car. 

“Obviously now Charles is there and I think he will be very quick, there is no doubt. I expect him to pick up very quickly. 

“The main thing is to work together as a team. On-track I don’t need to remind Charles he wants to be quicker than me and the same goes for me. 

“That’s normal. You find the 20 best drivers in the world in the 20 cars on the grid, nobody needs a reminder of that.”

Additional reporting by Roberto Chinchero

shares
comments
McLaren boosted by Renault's "different" 2019 engine talk

Previous article

McLaren boosted by Renault's "different" 2019 engine talk

Next article

Ricciardo makes Renault F1 debut as RS19 hits track

Ricciardo makes Renault F1 debut as RS19 hits track
Load comments
The details that boosted Verstappen and held back Hamilton in Austin Prime

The details that boosted Verstappen and held back Hamilton in Austin

As the 2021 Formula 1 title battle winds towards its climax, the United States GP added another thrilling act in the Lewis Hamilton-Max Verstappen battle. Although Hamilton aced the start, Verstappen and Red Bull took the initiative with strategy and were richly rewarded, despite Mercedes' best efforts as the race went down to the wire

Formula 1
Oct 25, 2021
US Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

US Grand Prix Driver Ratings

On a baking hot afternoon in Texas, Formula 1 drivers were tested to their limits. As the pressure on the title contending squads reaches an ever-greater level of intensity, the foremost challengers again showed their class, but were outshone by a standout drive from the upper midfield

Formula 1
Oct 25, 2021
The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert Prime

The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert

It's 50 years since Jo Siffert was killed in his prime at Brands Hatch. The Swiss scored just two world championship wins in a Formula 1 career spent largely with privateer teams, but showed on numerous occasions in single-seaters and in sportscars with Porsche that he could beat any of the best drivers of his era given the right equipment.

Formula 1
Oct 24, 2021
Why a misunderstood Kimi Raikkonen will thrive in retirement Prime

Why a misunderstood Kimi Raikkonen will thrive in retirement

Three years on from Kimi Raikkonen's last Grand Prix victory at Austin, he is now six races away from ending the longest Formula 1 career in history. His friend and former Ice1 Racing rally team PR man Anthony Peacock explains why there’s nobody quite like the 2007 world champion and why F1 will miss him (but he won’t miss it).

Formula 1
Oct 24, 2021
How Verstappen has become F1 champion material Prime

How Verstappen has become F1 champion material

As Red Bull and Honda go all-out for victory in the Japanese engine manufacturer’s last season of its latest Formula 1 dalliance, Max Verstappen finds himself thrust into a compelling title fight with Lewis Hamilton. He told OLEG KARPOV about his evolution into a world championship contender and why Red Bull's no compromise ethos suits him down to the ground

Formula 1
Oct 23, 2021
Why long-run times should please Red Bull in Austin F1 battle Prime

Why long-run times should please Red Bull in Austin F1 battle

Mercedes has been on a roll of late in the ultra-tight fight to win the 2021 Formula 1 world championship. It started off well in practice at Austin for this weekend’s US Grand Prix, but Red Bull got closer as Friday unfolded and even seemed to find an edge in one critical area of what seems set to be set to be another close contest.

Formula 1
Oct 23, 2021
The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen Prime

The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen

The 2021 Formula 1 title battle is finely poised with six races remaining, as just six points separate championship leader Max Verstappen from seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton. In such a closely-fought season, the outcome could hinge on several small factors playing the way of Red Bull or Mercedes

Formula 1
Oct 22, 2021
Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed? Prime

Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed?

Aston Martin owner Lawrence Stroll is determined to make the group a billion-dollar business. MARK GALLAGHER analyses his latest play – bringing former McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh into the fold

Formula 1
Oct 22, 2021