Sebastian Vettel will reportedly leave Ferrari at the end of the 2020-21 Formula 1 season. Such news came in after contract talks between Vettel and his team broke down with no agreement.
Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto revealed that it was a mutual decision. He also admitted that the conclusion was "not easy to reach."
Binotto also added that the time has come when the racer and the racing team should choose separate ways to reach their "respective objectives."
Vettel responded by saying that there is no longer "a common desire" to work together. He also ruled out any financial causes behind such a decision.
The four-time German world champion said, "In order to get the best possible results in this sport, it's vital for all parties to work in perfect harmony. Financial matters have played no part in this joint decision. That's not the way I think when it comes to making certain choices and it never will be. What's been happening in these past few months has led many of us to reflect on what are our real priorities in life."
In 2019, Vettel's teammate Charles Leclerc's spectacular performance is reported to be the main reason why Ferrari and the 32-year-old former world champion were forced into this decision.
Leclerc tweeted, "I've never learnt so much as I did with you as my teammate. Thank you for everything Seb".
Now, the question arises about who could replace Vettel in Ferrari. BBC reports that Spaniard Carlos Sainz, who is currently a McLaren driver, has been linked to Vettel's seat.
In case Sainz leaves McLaren, his current employer is likely to attract Renault's Daniel Ricciardo.
In 2018, Ricciardo was in serious talks with McLaren before leaving Red Bull. However, he finally joined Renault.
It is understood that Ricciardo is currently unsettled at the French team and is looking for other opportunities.
In that case, Vettel might choose McLaren. However, that would be possible only if he feels that he is prepared enough to move to a team that is currently undergoing a restructuring process.
Although Renault could be an option for the German, they too, are in a rebuilding process which might not seem attractive to such an illustrious driver.
Lewis Hamilton, although running out of a contract at the end of the season, is likely to stay at Mercedes. As a result, they might not go for Vettel. Now, only time will tell which team would ultimately sign the former world champion.