--
 
On the road during lockdown

Here's what motorists should know.

Meet Smokey Nagata

The man behind the legendary twin-turbo V12 Toyota Supra build.

Vettel is done with Ferrari, what's next? Here's where Seb could end up in 2021

2020-05-12 10:30

Charlen Raymond

sebastian vettel,ferrari,f1,formula 1

Sebastian Vettel. Image: Getty Images

Late last night (May 11), news of Sebastian Vettel leaving Ferrari at the end of 2020 broke the internet.

While this does come as a surprise, very few could have imagined a different outcome. Ferrari offered Vettel a shorter contract after the current one runs its course, as well as a massive pay cut – some $20-million less than what he's currently earning.

To be fair, the shortened contract and pay cut are because of Vettel's own doing, given that his performance over the last few years saw massive declines. Still, he is a four-time Formula 1 world champion and a great talent behind the wheel. But even the attributes and titles could not save his flailing career at Ferrari.

What is Vettel left to do, then? Is there still hope for him to be competitive in F1 at the highest level? Is there a reason for him to continue? And if he does, what options does he have left?


What do you think: Should Vettel continue with F1 in 2021, and which team should he join? Email us your thoughts.

sebastian vettel,ferrari,f1,formula

Sebastian Vettel. Image: Getty Images

Staying in F1

If Vettel does decide to stay in F1 beyond 2020, his options for a competitive seat is relatively limited. One could say that, in 2021, he could join the Alfa Romeo team and replace Kimi Raikkonen, if the Iceman decides to hang up his boots. But even though Alfa is Ferrari's B-team, the team is nowhere near a competitive level. In that regard, Vettel will take a massive step back without the prospect of ever fighting for podiums and race wins again.

He'll be remembered as 'that champion' who stuck around way past his sell-by date.

READ: Switching to McLaren-orange? Ferrari's Vettel left with a big decision ahead of the 2021 F1 season

McLaren and Renault seem like the two likely options. Both teams finished the 2019 season in fourth and fifth place, respectively, behind Mercedes, Ferrari, and Red Bull. If Vettel decides to take up either of these two options, it's a high probability that Carlos Sainz Jr. (McLaren) or Daniel Ricciardo (Renault) could take Vettel's seat at Ferrari.

It would, effectively, be a seat-swap between the drivers. Vettel's best bet will be to take up the option at McLaren - if it comes down to it. In 2021, McLaren will be powered by Mercedes engines, the very engine that's fueled the Works team to successive championships since 2014. Vettel and McLaren can rekindle a championship spark that's between missing in both parties for far too long.

sebastian vettel,ferrari,f1,formula

Sebastian Vettel. Image: Getty Images

Time for family?

Another likely scenario could be Vettel calling time on his F1 career. Having been in the sport since mid-2007, Vettel has gone on to prove that he is one of the best the sport has ever seen. His four championships put him in great company, while his win-count of 53 F1 victories is also not to be scoffed at - only third on the all-time list behind Michael Schumacher (91) and Lewis Hamilton (84).

READ: Three drivers who are most likely to replace Vettel at Ferrari in 2021

Vettel, his wife Hannah and their three children have set up house in Switzerland. If Vettel decides to walk away from the sport at the end of 2020, he can retire comfortably and live a life of leisure with his family.

Of course, Vettel is competitive by nature, and he'd no doubt rue the opportunities of not having added to his championship count. Still, he can take solace from the fact that his name will forever be engraved in the annals of Formula 1.

sebastian vettel,f1,ferrari,formula 1
Sebastian Vettel. Image: TeamTalk
NEXT ON WHEELS24X
Read more on:    ferrari  |  charlen raymond  |  motorsport  |  formula 1  |  racing  |  f1

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.