Four-time Formula 1 World Champion Sebastian Vettel has suggested that a new deal with Ferrari could be reached before on-track action returns in 2020.
Vettel joined Ferrari in 2015 on a three-year deal and mid-2017 renewed for another three-year term, which expires at the end of 2020.
During the 2019/20 off-season Ferrari extended Charles Leclerc’s contract through 2024 and suggested that formal discussions with Vettel would take place in the early stages of the season.
However Formula 1 on-track action is not due to take place until at least late June, with the French Grand Prix currently the first scheduled round of the campaign.
“There is a high chance we will have to make a decision before there will be the first race,” Vettel is quoted by the official Formula 1 website.
“Because at the moment it looks like there will be no race before June or even July.
“The main priority at first was to ensure that we’re all dealing with the [pandemic] situation in the right way.
“Therefore, everything was put on hold and 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 will make progress.”
Vettel, 32, has raced in Formula 1 since 2007 and is approaching 250 starts, though stressed that he remains keen to remain racing far into the future.
“Whatever the deal will be like, it will be whatever I and the team will be comfortable with,” Vettel added.
“So in terms of duration I don’t know. Normally the contracts I’ve had in the past were all three-year deals.
“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.”