Sebastian Vettel says Ferrari never offered him a new contract beyond the 2020 season and has insisted he is “motivated and willing” to achieve more in Formula 1.
It was confirmed in May that Vettel and Ferrari will part company at the end of the campaign and Ferrari’s press release quoted the German as saying it was a “joint decision” between the parties.
But ahead of the delayed 2020 season opener, to be held in Spielberg in Austria this weekend, Vettel revealed more on his situation.
“It was obviously a surprise to me when I got the call from [Team Principal] Mattia [Binotto] when he told me that there was no further intention for the team to continue [with me],” said Vettel.
“We never got into any discussions, there was never an offer on the table and therefore there was no sticking point.”
Vettel future plans?
Vettel previously indicated that he would take time to assess his future and on Thursday he emphasised he wants to continue to compete in Formula 1.
“Obviously I want to make sure I make the right decision for myself and my future,” he said.
“I think I have a very competitive nature, I have achieved a lot in the sport, I’m motivated and willing to achieve more.
“To do so I need the right package and the right people around me so that’s what I’m looking out for at the moment, if the right opportunity should arise then it is quite clear.
“If that’s not the case then I’ll probably have to look out for something else.”
When asked whether he would consider a sabbatical, or even retirement, Vettel said: “I don’t know, I think as I said if the right thing comes together and comes up I’m willing to continue then I feel I have much more to give.
“If that’s not the case and doesn’t come together then as I said it’s probably time to do something else.
“But I am of the conviction that if you are prepared to let’s say shut the door then you should be prepared to shut that door and not shut it and expect it to open again.
“You have to be aware of the decision you are making at the time and that’s also why I’m not rushing into anything, the next weeks and months will be probably bringing some more clarity.”