Wolff questions timing of Vettel announcement

Michelle Foster


Toto Wolff cannot fathom why Ferrari would confirm Sebastian Vettel’s exit when they still have a full season left working together.

Last week Ferrari announced that Vettel would no longer be racing in red as of the end of this season.

In his statement, the German said that he and Ferrari had realised that they no longer had a “common desire” to work together beyond 2020.

They will, however, continue as partners for this season.

Team boss Mattia Binotto later explained: “There was no specific reason that led to this decision, apart from the common and amicable belief that the time had come to go our separate ways in order to reach our respective objectives.”

Two days later Ferrari announced Carlos Sainz as Vettel’s replacement with McLaren signing Daniel Ricciardo as Lando Norris’ 2021 team-mate.

That’s three teams who will have to work with drivers that they know won’t be around next year.

Wolff doesn’t understand the timing.

He told Kronen Zeitung: “You have to work with a driver for a year who can and will use all your innovations against you in the following season.”

As all last week’s announcements played out it concluded with Vettel not having a job for 2021 and Renault being a driver short.

But rather than rumours linking the German to the Renault seat, speculation popped that Vettel could head to Mercedes to partner Lewis Hamilton.

Wolff has already denied that, saying his priority is Mercedes’ own crop of drivers with George Russell the most likely to fill a seat at Mercedes should one open up.

Kronen, though, tried its luck.

‘Is Vettel a topic at Mercedes?’ was the question.

The reply: “Our priority is Lewis Hamilton, who is an institution, and Valtteri Bottas.”

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