Formula 1 champion Jenson Button says it would be “madness” if rumours that Ferrari pushed Sebastian Vettel out are true.
It’s not known what the exact details behind Vettel’s Ferrari departure are, with the team only saying the German didn’t share its short or long-term goals, and some have taken that as confirmation they pulled the plug on the deal, rather than the four-time champion.
Button says he’s “shocked” he won’t see Vettel in a red car after 2020 and couldn’t bring himself to believe the rumours, describing it as “madness” if true.
“If he was pushed, for me it’s madness,” Button told Sky Sports F1.
“A four-time world champion…there must be more to it. I don’t know if Ferrari are going down the route of not wanting two number one drivers or what but it’s a really strange choice for me and I’m still shocked that Sebastian [won’t be] in a red car.”
Vettel has shown some weaknesses in recent seasons with several high-profile spins and crashes, which have cost him a real shot at delivering a title for the Scuderia, particularly in 2017 and 2018.
He was also overshadowed by team-mate Charles Leclerc last season, but Button believes that was a temporary blip.
“I think he showed his speed last year,” he added. “He had a tough moment in the season when Charles was performing really well and I think that hurt him a little bit mentally. But he came back really strong, and he’s just somebody you would definitely choose to put in your car if you had an F1 team.”
Meanwhile Button has warned that hiring Carlos Sainz probably isn’t the best idea if Ferrari want a number two driver.
“If Binotto has gone for Carlos because he thinks he’s a good pair of hands but won’t really give Charles a run for his money, then I think he’s mistaken,” claimed Button.
“I think Carlos is a winner, he’s like his father. He wants to bring home a championship. So [Binotto] has chosen the wrong person if he just wants a good atmosphere.”