Vettel to leave Ferrari at end of 2020

Vettel told reporters last month that he could have a new deal done before the start of a season delayed by the pandemic

Vettel told reporters last month that he could have a new deal done before the start of a season delayed by the pandemic

"I think there's two elements to this", said Brundle after the confirmation of Vettel's exit.

The news will bring an end to Vettel's six-year career at Ferrari at the end of this season, which is expected to start on July 5 in Austria.

The four-time world champion is leaving at the end of the year by mutual consent.

The 32-year-old denied their failure to agree terms was due to the finances.

According to the Italian press, Vettel had been offered a one-year deal on a reduced salary, which may also have marked him out as a No.2 driver to teammate Charles Leclerc, who recently signed a five-year deal with the Italian team.

The closest Vettel got to winning the title with Ferrari was in 2017, when he led the standings going into the mid-season break but ended up finishing 46 points behind Hamilton.

McLaren is on the rise again, so it could be a logical move for Vettel. I'm at Red Bull. Only Mercedes and Red Bull will be readily able to afford that, but a move back to Red Bull would be unlikely - especially to play second driver to Verstappen. Vettel and Verstappen also don't have the best relationship, as they have clashed on track in the past and aimed jibes at each other. F1 is a complex beast, and the Scuderia was plagued with various issues year after year; never delivering a winning race auto to Vettel and crushing his hopes of ever winning a championship with the Cavallino Rampante.

Here's a look at the two drivers touted as his possible replacement.

Sainz Jr.is the son of two-time world rally champion Carlos Sainz.

Would Ferrari offer him a long-term contract?

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He drove well last season, securing his first podium and contributing strongly to McLaren's fourth place in the constructors' championship.

Leclerc, who won two races past year and is only 22, has a contract until 2024 and is seen as Ferrari's future and likely first champion since Kimi Raikkonen in 2007.

"I think I'm in a very fortunate position that I can probably try and do a lot of things, once I have chose to stop racing in F1".

Vettel's decision, though, may have changed that.

Vettel won four successive world titles with Red Bull and it was anticipated he would add to his haul on joining Ferrari in 2015, but the German has been largely overshadowed by Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton.

For the 35-year-old to make such a decision he would need assurance that their vehicle is capable of winning every race, which seems unlikely.

Then came a bemusing moment at the Italian GP in Monza. "Some very good ones and some others that didn't end as we both wanted, but there was always respect, even though it wasn't perceive this way from the outside".

Both are also out of contract at the end of 2020.

Age is against Alonso, who turns 39 halfway through next season.

Another race-costing spin early on in the season in Bahrain certainly didn't help, nor did the near-constant controversy with Leclerc as Ferrari struggled to handle the dynamic of an established star vs an emerging one.

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