Sebastian Vettel is Ferrari’s “first choice” to partner Charles Leclerc in 2021 with Mattia Binotto downplaying the Lewis Hamilton rumours.
Last year Hamilton met with Ferrari president John Elkann on two occasions, both parties feeling one another out about a possible drive for 2021.
Hamilton was coy when asked about the meetings, saying nothing more than he was keeping his options open.
With the Brit linked to Ferrari and, more to the point to Vettel’s seat, Vettel spoke with Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko about a potential return to the team with whom he won his four World titles. Marko ruled that out.
But while Vettel’s place at Ferrari remains uncertain, Binotto says he remains their number one pick to partner Leclerc next season.
“Seb is our first choice at the moment,” Binotto told Reuters.
“Obviously it is something we are discussing with him and we will continue discussing, but he is certainly our first option, our preference.”
Asked about Hamilton and the possibility of the Mercedes driver taking Vettel’s seat, Binotto replied: “We are focused on our drivers and we are considering Seb as our option at the moment.”
However, even if Ferrari want to Vettel that doesn’t necessarily mean the 32-year-old wants a 14th season in Formula 1.
For now, though, he’s not ruling it out.
“I feel young enough. You spoke about Lewis, he’s even older so that’s not a limitation,” he said.
“So yeah, happy to keep going.”