Sebastian Vettel says he will “take the time I need” in order to reflect on whether he continues to race in Formula 1 beyond the end of 2020.
It was confirmed on Tuesday that Vettel and Ferrari have jointly opted not to renew their relationship beyond 2020, when the current contract expires.
Vettel, 32, stressed that the decision was in no way related to money, and that the current pandemic had prompted him to re-assess his “real priorities” in life.
“My relationship with Scuderia Ferrari will finish at the end of 2020,” Vettel said.
“In order to get the best possible results in this sport, it’s vital for all parties to work in perfect harmony.
“The team and I have realised that there is no longer a common desire to stay together beyond the end of this season.
“Financial matters have played no part in this joint decision. That’s not the way I think when it comes to making certain choices and it never will be.
“What’s been happening in these past few months has led many of us to reflect on what are our real priorities in life.
“One needs to use one’s imagination and to adopt a new approach to a situation that has changed.
“I myself will take the time I need to reflect on what really matters when it comes to my future.”
Vettel paid tribute to Ferrari, and its fans, as he prepares for his sixth and final season with the team.
“Scuderia Ferrari occupies a special place in Formula 1 and I hope it gets all the success it deserves,” said Vettel.
“Finally, I want to thank the whole Ferrari family and above all its “tifosi” all around the world, for the support they have given me over the years.
“My immediate goal is to finish my long stint with Ferrari, in the hope of sharing some more beautiful moments together, to add to all those we have enjoyed so far.”