Sebastian Vettel has once again quashed rumours of retirement and stated he is still “very hungry” for success with Ferrari.
The rumour originated from journalist Joe Saward, who suggested Vettel could walk away from Formula 1 altogether at the end of the 2019 season despite having another year left on his Ferrari deal.
Vettel had since rubbished those claims but, in Montreal, elaborated further on the talk of retirement.
“I never said anything like it, so I don’t know where they come from,” Vettel told the media ahead of the Canadian Grand Prix weekend.
“I think I can stop whenever I want, and the team can probably kick me out whenever they want, but I’m very happy with the team and I hope the team is happy with myself.
“I’m very hungry and I have a mission here to win. That’s really the only thing that matters to me, winning with Ferrari, and that’s what I’m working for.
“Currently we’re not winning, you can do the maths, so we still have something to do.”
“The next races will be really crucial for us trying to get back to the front and give a much harder time to Mercedes,” Vettel added.
“Once we can establish that, then we have plenty of reason to look forward. It will be crucial to do it rather sooner than later, but at the moment I’m not too fussed at looking at ‘this is the date it has to happen’.
“Clearly we are behind, clearly there is quite a big margin between Mercedes and the rest, Mercedes and also ourselves, so we have to close that gap and get ahead, otherwise it will be difficult to turn it around.
“I don’t think you need to be a genius: before the summer break we need to be in very, very good shape to then use that momentum for the second half to turn it around.”