Webber thinks Ecclestone had say in Vettel exit

Mark Scott
Bernie Ecclestone would delay the new Formula 1 rules for three years.

Mark Webber has suggested that Sebastian Vettel may have been advised by Bernie Ecclestone not to renew his deal with Ferrari.

Vettel and Ferrari co-announced on Tuesday that they will go their separate ways at the end of the year after failing to reach an agreement over a contract extension.

Ferrari moved swiftly to announce McLaren’s Carlos Sainz on a two-year deal from 2021 just a couple days after the Vettel decision was confirmed. Daniel Ricciardo’s move to McLaren was also rubber-stamped on the same day.

Ferrari’s official statement said there were no specific reasons as to why contract negotiations broke down between the two parties, but that has not stopped the theories from the pundits and fans.

Webber thinks that Vettel may have sought counsel from ex-Formula 1 owner and his good friend Ecclestone on what to do and may have also taken Ferrari’s uncompetitiveness in pre-season into consideration.

“Deals getting done when everyone’s bored. Don’t underestimate who Sebastian gets plenty of counsel from…Bernie,” Webber posted.

“Could it be that the red car wasn’t particularly competitive pre-season, stable regs and a future budget cap?”

There is also a feeling that Ricciardo moving to McLaren next year is a runner-up prize to bagging a seat at Ferrari, a seat that the Aussie has long been linked with throughout his Formula 1 car.

But Australian publication The Age claim Ricciardo actually passed up on the chance to join Ferrari. and that he was ‘overqualified’ to be a number two driver to Charles Leclerc, which many feel like Sainz will be once he makes the switch to the Scuderia in 2021.

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