Just in case Sebastian Vettel wasn’t really sure that he was not wanted at Ferrari, it appears they have removed his name from his Scuderia jacket.
Vettel and Ferrari are going their separate ways at the end of the 2020 season and, whilst it was initially understood that the decision was a mutual one between both parties, the four-time World Champion revealed ahead of the season opener in Austria that it was very much Ferrari’s choice.
“It was obviously a surprise to me when I got the call from Mattia [Binotto] when he told me that there was no further intention for the team to continue [with me],” Vettel said.
“We never got into any discussions, there was never an offer on the table and therefore there was no sticking point.”
Amongst all the criticism coming Ferrari’s way after an uncompetitive start to the 2020 season, team principal Binotto using the global health pandemic as a reason to change their mind on Vettel did not go down particularly well, even with Vettel himself.
“The conditions with coronavirus are not so decisive there,” he said in an interview with ServusTV.
“There were also partial reports that we could not agree on the financial. That was not an issue at all and wouldn’t have been.
“I still thought it would have been an option to continue with Ferrari. It was communicated like that.
“I was told they wanted to continue together.
“Then out of nowhere, I got a phone call, in which I was told that there won’t be any offer and no future together.”
Ferrari’s questionable treatment of Vettel appears to have continued in Hungary after French broadcaster Canal+ captured an encounter between him and his former Red Bull colleagues Christian Horner and Dr Helmut Marko.
In one of their many paddock chats, Horner noticed that Vettel’s name had been removed from his Ferrari jacket, something which Vettel confirmed according to the captions.
Horner then commented that it was harsh before asking if his ex-driver was ok.
A nice moment between Seb, Christian Horner and Helmut Marko in the paddock today.
Christian Horner: Did they even take your name off now (off the jacket)?
Seb: Yeah 😆
Christian Horner: That's a bit harsh!
Are you alright?
— tami. (@Vetteleclerc) July 18, 2020
Vettel has been strongly linked to a move to Aston Martin for the 2021 with Mercedes and Red Bull continuing to say that the door is very much shut on him joining either of those respective teams.
It is believed that Sergio Perez will be the driver who would make way for Vettel and the Mexican driver’s agent has already been in talks with rival teams.