Vettel To Exit Ferrari, Ricciardo In Pole To Take His Place
Four-time Formula One world champion Sebastian Vettel will not remain with Ferarri at the end of 2020, leaving the door open for Australian Daniel Ricciardo to join the team.
Formula One confirmed the news on Tuesday after a new deal was unable to be reached between Ferrari and Vettel.
Vettel’s contract with the Italian team runs out at the end of the year.
"My relationship with Scuderia Ferrari will finish at the end of 2020,” he 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.
The German racer said financial matters did not play a part in the joint decision.
“That’s not the way I think when it comes to making certain choices and it never will be.”
Ferrari teammate Charles Leclerc thanked Vettel for their time racing together, saying he had never learnt so much before teaming up with the German.
"It's been a huge honor for me to be your team mate," Leclerc said on Twitter.
"We've had some tense moments on tracks.
"Some very good ones and some others that didn't end as we both wanted, but there was always respect, even though it wasn't perceive this way from the outside."
Australian driver Ricciardo, currently at Renault, and McLaren's Spaniard Carlos Sainz have both been mentioned in media reports as leading candidates to take one of the most coveted seats on the grid.
Both are also out of contract at the end of 2020.
Six-time world champion Lewis Hamilton has also been linked to Ferrari but has repeatedly indicated he intends to stay with Mercedes.
Italy's Gazetta dello Sport newspaper recently reported Vettel was being offered a one-year extension with a salary reduction.