Sebastian Vettel responds to Bernie Ecclestone's retirement claims

Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel has responded to Bernie Ecclestone's suggestion that he might not be a feature of Formula 1 for much longer.

Ecclestone, a good friend of Vettel's, suggested the German might call time on his motorsport career to instead focus on his family. Vettel then fueled the rumours by saying that F1 was more of a show now than a sport and that it's something he dislikes about it.

Vettel, who has a contract through to 2020, responded to Ecclestone's comments and although refused to deny he could call time on his career, insisted he's "on top of my game" at present and still enjoys racing.

"I’m not going to be in Formula 1 as long as he [Ecclestone] was, that’s for sure. But I hope I’m going to be as fit and as sharp as he is today when I’m hopefully that old.

"I don’t know, to be honest. At the moment I feel on top of my game, I feel that I know what I’m doing. I’m very very self-critical, very ambitious and I put a lot of expectation on to myself.

"I love driving, I love the sensation of the speed, I love fighting with these guys so there’s a lot of things that at the moment I really like and I’ll miss so that’s why it’s not an option to quit tomorrow, I’m quite happy racing.

"And then, yeah, I’ve got the contract but that’s just a piece of paper and then we see what happens."

Vettel has yet to win a race in 2019 – or even come close – with Mercedes securing three consecutive 1-2 finishes, whilst team-mate Charles Leclerc almost won in Bahrain before engine trouble denied the youngster.