Four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel’s future beyond this season remains unclear following the recent shuffle of drivers which has left him without a team in 2021.
However, F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone and Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) president Jean Todt have both backed Vettel to respond and extend his career given his quality.
The question still remains where he will drive next year if he can secure a contract, with Vettel’s Ferrari replacement Carlos Sainz moving from McLaren who’ve already filled their spot with Daniel Ricciardo.
Ricciardo arrives from Renault who have underperformed with the Australian, which may not appeal to Vettel. It’s understood Renault are also speaking to Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas.
Bottas, who is out of contract at the end of 2020, could exit Mercedes, opening up the possibility of a remarkable partnership between Vettel and Lewis Hamilton.
Two-time champion Fernando Alonso, who hasn’t raced in F1 since 2018, has also been linked with a return.
In the short term, Ecclestone backed Vettel to show the world his quality in 2020, once the season eventually gets underway.
“They never gave the impression of working as a team and having fun together,” Ecclestone said.
“As Charles Leclerc came up, Ferrari did not reiterate confidence in Sebastian and ultimately it led to divorce. It never worked really,
“He will be able to tackle each race without any pressure and with a lot of aggression. He will have the opportunity to show Leclerc that he is still far from done.”
With a more longer term view, Todt was confident Vettel will find a new home for 2021 and beyond and not walk away from the sport at 32.
“Sebastian Vettel is one of the greatest talents in motorsport,” Todt told Sky Sports.
“An announcement has been made that he will not drive for the team beyond 2020.
“There are a lot of other opportunities. We can only wish him the best and I mean that. Whoever will take him will be very lucky.”