A day after the shock announcement that Ferrari and Sebastian Vettel will part ways at the end of 2020, news broke that the German driver will sign with McLaren for 2021, according to various motorsport news sites.
An official contract is yet to be confirmed, but the one-year deal sees Vettel remaining in the sport for at least one more year, but it is safe to assume that the driver will have the option to extend.
Vettel departs from Ferrari on the back of six unsuccessful seasons of trying to bring championship gold back to Ferrari.
Vettel remains in F1
When contract negotiations between Vettel and Ferrari hit a snag, it was immediately assumed that a new deal would not come to fruition. On May 12, both Ferrari and Vettel announced that they would be parting ways at the end of 2020.
The announcement came as little shock, given the rise of Charles Leclerc in 2019. Ferrari signed the young hotshot to a five-year contract at the end of 2019, which underlined its intentions to rest its championship hopes on him.
This shift in power left Vettel in the open, and his lackluster performance in 2019 did him no favours, as well.
The ‘dream partnership’ between Vettel and Ferrari may be over, but the driver will remain in the sport until at least the end of 2021.
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Ferrari drivers, Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel. Image: Getty Images
It’s been said that Vettel holds the key to the 2021 driver market. What he decides will ultimately determine where many other drivers will end up. These drivers include Lewis Hamilton, Daniel Ricciardo, and Carlos Sainz Jr. Ricciardo and Sainz have been tipped to replace Vettel at Ferrari should the German walk away, and reports are suggesting that it has been the case.
Sainz and Vettel will reportedly swap seats in a move that’ll see the Spaniard making the move up to Ferrari. Sainz, a driver who has always pulled on the shorter end of the F1 stick will now realise his dream of racing for a top team.
Ferrari will, expectedly, announce Sainz as its second driver later this week, but it remains an open question as to how he and Leclerc will go about their business on track. Given that Leclerc is Ferrari’s ‘chosen one’, just how the team will handle two hungry-to-win drivers is anyone’s guess.
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