Sebastian Vettel could make the move to McLaren next year if he isn’t retained by Ferrari, according to a report by F1-insider.
Vettel joined the Scuderia in 2015 as the four-time World Champion looked to deliver a first Drivers’ Championship for the team since 2007.
But despite coming close in 2017, the German driver has been unable to add a fifth title to his CV, and last season his role as the team’s number one driver came under scrutiny with the arrival of Charles Leclerc who scored more wins, poles and points than Vettel.
Vettel in 2020 enters the final year of his Ferrari contract, and while the team have confirmed that he is their preferred choice for 2021, it’s unclear whether or not that would see him act as a number two driver to Leclerc.
And if the 32-year-old was to depart Maranello, then McLaren have emerged as a possible destination.
Vettel worked with current McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl during the driver’s spell at BMW Sauber, and they are believed to have a strong relationship.
An unnamed source told F1-insider: “Seidl knows Vettel well from their time together at BWM. If Sebastian is to be had, he will certainly think about him. It would also be a strong PR coup for McLaren-Mercedes.”
Former F1 driver Timo Glock added: “Maybe McLaren. With Andreas Seidl, they have a German team leader under whom it only went up last year. I can well imagine the conversations, he would certainly like to have an experienced German driver in the team.”
Vettel making the move to McLaren would certainly be a surprise.
Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris emerged as one of the most entertaining and promising partnerships on the grid in 2019 and McLaren have regularly talked up their plans to back them long term.
The team even ruled out a return for two-time World Champion Fernando Alonso such was their determination not to separate Sainz and Norris.