Told by Ferrari that his services would not be required after this year’s championship, 2020 is definitely Vettel’s final season with Ferrari and potentially also his last in Formula 1.
And it is not going according to plan.
While Vettel had hoped to put himself in the shop window, he is instead catching the attention of his critics.
The 33-year-old has struggled in what is proving to be a difficult year for Ferrari but while Charles Leclerc has 43 points and two podiums, Vettel has just 10 points and a best result of P6.
It has led to some speculation that the German has already checked out with both Jolyon Palmer and Gerhard Berger saying Ferrari need to drop him, and now.
Ricciardo, though, has leapt to the defence of his former team-mate.
According to the Aussie, one of a select few team-mates to ever beat Vettel in the F1 standings, it is not in the German’s personality to give up.
Former team mates and rivals backing Sebastian:
Daniel Ricciardo: "I expect him to bounce back, I certainly do. If he believes he can keep doing it at the top level, that he's shown in the last 10 years, then 100% he should stay in the sport, he's good for the sport". pic.twitter.com/2QwRD4C7C5
— Sebastian Vettel #5 (@sebvettelnews) August 13, 2020
Instead Ricciardo has backed Vettel to bounce back.
“I think one thing with Seb, is he’s very – it’s probably not the right word, but he’s very passionate about the sport,” said Ricciardo.
“He loves it and I don’t think he’s a guy to just, I don’t know, scrunch up a piece of paper and throw it in the bin and just be like, ‘Ah, yeah, whatever.’
“He’s someone that’s going to analyse everything and find a way to improve or find an answer to a question. I don’t think he’s the guy to just walk away from a problem.
“He cares too much, whether it’s pure love for the sport, or about the pride he has in himself. But he’s just… German efficiency, I guess!
“I expect him to bounce back, I certainly do,” Ricciardo continued, “I think in the sport, I’ve enjoyed being not only a team-mate but for sure a competitor with him.
“I said it really from the start, when the Ferrari news got announced, if he wants to keep doing it and if he believes he can keep doing it at the top level, that he’s shown in the last 10 years, then 100% he should stay in the sport, he’s good for the sport.
“That’s up to him to answer, but I do expect him to bounce back.”