Unless he can join Mercedes or Red Bull, neither of which is an option, Gerhard Berger says Sebastian Vettel should quit Formula 1.
Vettel is out of contract with Ferrari at the end of this season and has already been informed by the Scuderia that they won’t be renewing.
The 33-year-old, despite being a four-time World Champion, has been left looking at his options which are dwindling fast.
Mercedes’ announcement that Valtteri Bottas will remain with the team next season shut that door as Lewis Hamilton is expected to also re-sign while Red Bull has made it abundantly clear that the answer is “definite no”.
With those two out of the picture, former F1 driver Berger says Vettel should retire.
“Red Bull won’t work. Mercedes won’t work. Unless there is any special situation,” Speedweek.com quotes him as having told Sky F1.
“As a four-time World Champion who has never been injured, has a family, has had a good income, I would rather make the decision and say: Okay, bye-bye!”
Vettel has been linked to Racing Point, which will be rebranded Aston Martin next season.
According to reports, the German could sign on the dotted line at the Belgian Grand Prix, agreeing a $15m per season deal.
Berger, though, feels Vettel shouldn’t join a team unless they can offer him an opportunity to fight for a fifth World title.
He doesn’t believe Racing Point can do that.
“I can only suggest to him, only if he really has a car with which he can win the World Championship a fifth time or at least take victories,” said the Austrian.
“And I don’t see that at the moment.”
In the meantime Vettel is having to spend another 11 grands prix with a team that doesn’t want him, at least not in the long term.
The German is struggling in what is his final season with Ferrari but has insisted he’s not frustrated.
Berger’s advice to both Vettel and Ferrari: “Grit your teeth.
“If one of you leaves the team at the end of the year anyway and the other is the future, you usually choose the weakest or the one that is no longer relevant for the future.
“That’s where you dump your frustration – regardless of whether it’s the technicians or the results.”