Ferrari is reportedly “ready” to begin discussing a new contract with Sebastian Vettel despite initially saying the team will wait until mid-season.
“It is only the first move of a delicate chess game,” says Italian journalist Leo Turrini.
Vettel failed to shine for Ferrari last season, once again succumbing to rookie mistakes while displaying a massive act of petulance (even if one does feel he was robbed) when he lost the Canadian GP after being hit with a penalty for yet another mistake.
As such, rumours suggested that the German’s days in Formula 1 were numbered.
Vettel and Ferrari, though, both opted to respect his contract for 2020 where he will once again partner up and coming driver Charles Leclerc.
But already questions are being asked about 2021.
Last December Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto stated that the Scuderia would wait until May this year to even begin talking about the four-time World Champion’s place at the team.
But, a month and a half after signing Leclerc into a long-term contract, Ferrari are ready to begin talks with Vettel.
According to Turrini: “Ferrari have informed Sebastian Vettel that it is ready to discuss the conditions for a new contract.
“The 4-time World Champion is interested to renew the new contract but all will depend on the performance of the new car and the relationship between Seb and Charles Leclerc.”
Binotto has already made it clear that Vettel is Ferrari’s “first choice” for 2021.
Speaking at the launch of the SF1000, the team boss told Reuters: “Seb is our first choice at the moment.
“Obviously it is something we are discussing with him and we will continue discussing, but he is certainly our first option, our preference.”
With both Ferrari and Vettel reportedly wanting to see how the beginning of 2020 works out, Ferrari is facing a stern test come next month’s Australian GP.