Sebastian Vettel says it is likely his contact situation at Ferrari will be resolved before Formula 1 goes racing again.
The four-time world champion is out of contract at the end of the year, and Lewis Hamilton has been linked with a move to Maranello. Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto insists Vettel is the team’s first choice and the German says he wants to stay, and now sees a possibility he’ll be making a final decision before racing resumes.
“I think it depends when we’ll have the first race,” Vettel said. “I think we’re all waiting for the situation… One of the key things now for everyone – whether you’re in sport or not – is to remain patient. But looking at myself, it obviously depends when we will have the first race.
“There is a high chance we will have to make a decision before there will be the first race, because at the moment it looks like there will be no race before June, or even July. We are all waiting, but I think the main priority at first was to ensure that we’re all dealing with the situation in the right way. Therefore, everything was put on hold. I can imagine that’s the same everywhere else, and it was the same for us.
“It’s not like a couple of days after Australia we said ‘right now (we’ll talk)’. I think we will make progress, but I don’t think there’s a real timeline. Whether it will be before the first race or not depends on when we will have the first race.”
With the current cars now going to be used for 2021, Vettel will need to sign at least a two-year deal to try the next set of regulations but hints he is eyeing an even longer contract.
“I think whatever the deal will be like, it will be whatever I and the team will be comfortable with,” he said. “So in terms of duration, I don’t know. Normally the contracts I’ve had in the past were all a three-year deal. I know I’m one of the more experienced drivers in Formula 1, but I’m not the oldest, and I don’t think there’s an age limit in this regard. So it will be depending on what we feel comfortable with.”