Motorsport News


How did it come to this: one of Ferrari’s most successful drivers in history being willingly left to slink out of the back door, a victor of 53 Formula 1 races and four world titles set to be remembered for everything he didn’t win?

There were hints of a Sebastian Vettel decline in 2018, but no dramatic fall from grace. The arrival of Charles Leclerc at Ferrari in 2019 changed everything.

In 18 months or so, Vettel slipped from Ferrari’s number one priority to an error-prone former giant who eventually became surplus to requirements.

Anew long-term deal for Leclerc in December last year made it very clear where Ferrari planned its future, and it also signalled the end for Vettel.Around the same time, Ferrari is believed to have held its first serious discussions with Carlos Sainz Jr.

Back then, this was little more than an agreement in principle: ‘in the unlikely event Sebastian quits, you’re our guy’.

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