Sebastian Vettel said he felt compelled to end the 2020 season with Ferrari because he was not a “fan of abbreviations”.
Before the 2020 season began, Ferrari announced that the four-time world champion would not be offered a new contract after 2020. At the time it was a mutual decision.
Vettel would later reveal that he had no say in the matter. Ferrari then walked in and admitted that Vettel’s version of events was the truth.
Without a doubt, 2020 also turned out to be Vettel’s toughest year on the track, as he fell back to 13th in the drivers’ standings and often lagged comfortably behind his team-mate Charles Leclerc.
And Vettel admitted that thoughts of retirement crossed his mind.
“Since I no longer had a future at Ferrari, the question immediately arose: What are you going to do in 2021? And since all the big seats were taken, I had to think about it for a long time. Of course you don’t rule out retirement, ”he said to Blick.
“Formula 1 has been the center of my life for over ten years. But there are also many other and above all more important things in life than our sport.
“Still, I’ve come to the conclusion that there is still something inside me. And so the contact with the new Aston Martin team came about. “
Vettel pointed out that Ferrari had only informed him that his contract would not be extended, which he could have instigated on his part, but admits that the “omens” buzzing around the 2020 campaign are different from it Point in time, a season in which Ferrari finished P6 in the constructors’ championship, the worst performance since 1980.
“They just didn’t renew my contract. I could have done the same back then, ”he explained.
“Of course, the omens for the new season from that day on were already different than in previous years. But even sadder are the performances that were so bad this year. After all, we didn’t have a competitive car.
“And Ferrari’s 6th place in the world championship won’t go down in history either (laughs).”
Vettel agreed that it would have been a good opportunity for him to join Racing Point in 2020 before they became Aston Martin.
The Silverstone team narrowly lost to McLaren in the battle for P3 in the constructors’ championship, but Vettel said it was only right that he ended the season with Ferrari.
“Yes, of course. But I also knew that I had to finish my job at Ferrari,” he replied when he was asked the question.
“I’m not a fan of abbreviations. The road just had to be taken to Abu Dhabi. Even if we had surely imagined the final [outcome] different.”
Vettel’s move to Aston Martin was controversial as Sergio Perez ran out of space for the 2020 season after the curtain fell, despite the Mexican scoring 125 points to finish P4 in the drivers’ standings.
Red Bull stepped in to save the day by signing Perez alongside Verstappen for 2021, but Vettel said a driver like Perez should never have stood on the sidelines anyway.
“That wasn’t my decision. By the way, I get along very well with Checo, ”said Vettel.
“After his victory in Bahrain, we roasted together and even exchanged helmets! I was happy for him. Because the first win is always something special. Like for me in 2008 with Toro Rosso in Monza.
“And Pérez should actually find a new team. Because nobody should let such a driver slip through their fingers. “
Well, Vettel’s old team, Red Bull, stepped in to save the day.
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