Ferrari to close Vettel contract talks ‘very soon’

Jamie Woodhouse
Sebastian Vettel PA

Sebastian Vettel PA

Ferrari principal Mattia Binotto wants to wrap up talks with Sebastian Vettel over a new contract “very soon”.

The four-time World Champion is out of contract with the Scuderia after this year, and the emergence of young team-mate Charles Leclerc has ramped up the pressure on him.

Already Ferrari have been clear that Vettel is their preferred option, and Binotto hopes for some confirmation on the German’s future “very soon”.

“Seb is our first option, as I always mentioned it’s a great line-up, probably the best in F1, of which I am very happy and proud as Ferrari team principal,” Binotto told reporters at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

“We started the early discussion with Seb and we are very aware that the contract is extinguishing, but it will come very soon to close the discussion and see what is in the best interest in both of us.

“What’s more important is the project which we’re sharing, even our longer-term view. I’m sure very soon we’ll come to an agreement.”

Vettel is yet to win a World Championship with Ferrari since joining in 2015, his best chances came and went in 2017/2018, but he says that hunger to win a first Drivers’ Championship for Ferrari since 2007 still remains.

“I’ve been around now for a while but I still love what I do, I love driving,” he explained.

“I got really excited when I got in the car last week and very quickly got back into a rhythm and that feels great, the satisfaction you get from driving the car, I would still say feels the same.

“I’m here to win and in that regard we had recent years, some were good, better than others, but none of them had been to our liking at the very end.

“I joined Ferrari to win the championship, we haven’t done that so far, it’s been a couple of years now, but the hunger, will and determination is still there inside the team. We are here to fight.”

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