Analysis: Sebastian Vettel to stay with Ferrari F1 until 2020 under new contract
Scuderia Ferrari
Posted By: Editor   |  26 Aug 2017   |  11:37 am GMT  |  70 comments

Sebastian Vettel’s contract with the Ferrari Formula 1 team has been extended for three years, the Scuderia announced on Saturday at the Belgian Grand Prix.

Vettel’s current contract was to last until the end of 2017 but Ferrari moved to end speculation over the four-time champion’s 2018 seat. Vettel confirmed that he signed the contract on Friday in Spa.

The move comes as expected, taking their star name through to the end of 2020, even though rumours around the paddock had mooted a one-year contract for Vettel.

Sources say that there was never really anything to this.

There is a big picture at play here; Ferrari itself is locked into F1 until 2020 and its current commitment to secure a long-term contract for its key driver reflects that. The team does not want to commit to anything beyond 2020 – a move which strengthens its position when negotiations with Liberty open up regarding Ferrari’s ongoing participation in F1.

Mercedes will most likely mirror this tactic. This implies that Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas will also receive a one-year extension to his contract, mirroring that of Kimi Raikkonen, whose own extension until the end of 2018 was announced on the Tuesday before the Belgian GP.

Mercedes would prefer to hold Lewis Hamilton down to 2019 and 2020 as well, keeping the door open for team-mate Bottas to take another one-year extension.

This would mirror Ferrari’s strategy of wait and see on the Red Bull drivers Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo. If either of them is looking to move teams in 2019, both teams have openings

This closes down options for Fernando Alonso; McLaren would prefer to keep Alonso at the team and it doesn’t make much sense for Renault to spend big on Alonso at this stage, without the car to challenge for wins and the title.

Rumours of a move for Alonso to Williams, which are currently circulating in the paddock, do not make much sense either for Williams, for the same reasons. Paying for it would be a major hurdle and it would certainly not be in the interests of Lance Stroll. The teenager is a few tenths off Felipe Massa, so would struggle against Alonso, who was substantially faster than Massa when they were together at Ferrari.

Word got out on Saturday morning in the Spa paddock that Vettel had signed his deal the night before and it was being widely written on the internet. Ferrari chose to rush out a short press release, rather than hold the news to the Italian Grand Prix at Monza, which is when they traditionally announce drivers.

Then again, this is the 70th anniversary year of Ferrari and there are many events planned for Monza. So keeping the Vettel announcement out of that allows the focus to be on the proud history of the brand.

“Scuderia Ferrari has extended its technical and racing agreement with driver Sebastian Vettel for the 2018, 2019 and 2020 racing seasons of the Formula One World Championship,” read Ferrari’s statement, posted just after FP3 on its website.

The current drivers’ standings leader joined Ferrari in 2015, where he finished third in his debut season with the outfit after a six-year stint with Red Bull, where he won all four of his World Championships. Vettel will be with Ferrari for six years, if he stays with the team for the duration of his new contract.

Have your say on Vettel’s contract extension in the comment section below.



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Brilliant news, unless you’re Hamilton. He has expressed to many close to him that he wants to end his career at Ferrari. I suppose he still could if he plans on racing that long.


omg, all this [mod] fans, why dont you all go watch soccer and discuss about RM/BAR?….

anyway, expected smart move from Ferrari, and finally VET commits to the efforts, I agree MER will do the same and wait for 2019 RB drivers release…

but I would prefer see other drivers trying KIM and BOT seats, like GRO or PER, maybe OCO, SAI, … I don’t know, if they are going to be just 1 year, at least give them a chance…

so, unless Renault and Honda (lol) pair their engines up to the game, we must likely will have a Hamilton – Vettel no surpirses fight for the next 3 years :S


So let’s recap. Vettel’s contract expired this season. Alonos was available – very available in fact. Alonso is, if you believe the F1 press, head and shoulders above Vettel as a driver.

And Ferrari, who have all the telemetry data on both drivers at their fingertips, opted to resign Vettel. For a three year deal.

It’s almost as if the people who run the teams and know the drivers well have a different take on their respective abilities from the one we get in the press.


Something tells me it’s Max who will be bolting Red Bull rather than Daniel. The Verstappens seem rather impatient to start winning- and give that May was signed out of F3 into Toro Rosso rather than being a Red Bull development driver, I think there’s less loyalty at play from his side. Daniel seems to be ok better terms with the team, and I could see him sticking around and believing in what the team can accomplish.

My bet is Mercedes will get Verstappen. They already tried to sign him once, and they are conscious of the fact that Lewis isn’t getting an younger. I don’t think Vettel would approve of Verstappen as a teammate, and I think Ferrari would like to have a successful product of their Driver Academy make it into one of their cars and would be content with a second-tier talent (Perez, Grosjean) for a couple of seasons until one of their junior drivers is ready.


I just had that discussion with a friend just minutes ago, .,… who between HAM and VET have the biggest ego, because on that will depend who leave the team give the seat to VER and run against him as a team mate…

I think HAM is most like to accept a team mate who challenge him, so VER will end on MER…

VET really needs to be #1 driver “de facto” in the contract.


No surprises here. Ferrari have chosen to build their team around Vettel – who hopes Ferrari will have what it takes to build a winning car. A calculated gamble on both sides which could do at best great, at worst, just OK. Vettel is guaranteed 3 years where he will win races, and hopefully a championship or 2, and be well paid. And he seems guaranteed to have a No.2 team-mate in the other car.


As a tifosi myself, this is brilliant news. Loyalty is a rare thing in modern sport. Seb and Ferrari suit each other in the same way that Schumi loved being part of the red family. Kimi is an excellent signing too, no BS, just gets on with driving.
I imagine Lewis is pretty downbeat though, considering he wants to end his career at Ferrari. But if he races for another 5 years, that could well still happen.


If it wouldn’t make sense for either Renault or Williams to pay Alonso’s salary next year, because they couldn’t challenge for wins anyway, you must presumably think that it doesn’t make sense for either McLaren or Honda to do so either?
So according to your logic, the only team that has a sensible reason to hire Alonso for next year is Mercedes Benz?

Tornillo Amarillo

Mercedes would prefer to hold Lewis Hamilton down to 2019 and 2020 as well, keeping the door open for team-mate Bottas to take another one-year extension.

Mmh, for me it has more sense to offer Bottas 2 years + option for 1 more year.
Then Valtteri could work focused as a driver and in his WDC challenge from 2018.
I said it firts in JAonF1 🙂


Sensible move by Vettel.

History shows that moving to a team that has dominated for a few years usually ends in tears. Call it what you will, Sod’s Law, Law of Averages, competitors catching up …

A few examples being Heinz Harold joining Williams after they had won 3 constructors, Kimi joining McLaren after 2 constructors, Alonso joining Ferrari after the Schumacher years.

Ricciardo Aficionado

You think he asked Sergio who they’re going to put in the other car next before he signed?


As I mentioned before, l am not surprised to see Vettel committing to Ferrari for a while longer. Ferrari seem on the right track and should be a serious contender for a couple of season to come. I am a bit surprised that they did not wait for Monza to make the announcement and that is about all. Well done Ferrari, well done Vettel and well done Kimi. Wishing them much success. Marc


James, I am surprised that the Alonso to Williams scenario is described in your article as not plausible from William’s side and not getting more attention. It is a fact that Williams has indeed made the offer to Alonso while meeting here at Spa.
So how realistic is it to happen? Maybe less so, if considering Alonso’s personal priorities. But let there be no doubt, for Williams it would be a major scoop!

Williams need a driver of minimum 25 yo, due to their Martini main sponsor. At Stroll’s age, he is regulatory not allowed to advertise for them.

Alonso is expensive, like $40M per year. But for billionaire Stroll who already donates 100s into Williams, this would just be a quick grab in his pocket if he thinks its a great idea to have superstar Alonso to mentor his son.
Massa is past expiry date and Williams wants a faster driver.

But will Alonso say YES to this offer he now got?
Probably not…
Williams is a midfield team, haven’t won a race since 2012. And they wont be contention for titles or victories next year either. And that is really what Alonso insist on in F1. So if Alonso wants to stay on a bit longer in F1, then he better stay put at McLaren. If they get hold of a decent engine, then they instantly will be a top-team. No doubt about that! Honda can still make it right. Question is if Alonso still believes in them. Unfortunately for F1, Alonso will most probably pursue his wish for the Triple Crown of motorsport. So will leave F1 by end of this year to try and win Indy 500 or Le Mans.


@Cyber – Alonso the mentor.

That made I laff.


Haha Rodger,
Yes, I was just trying to be ‘nice’!

But no doubt, though Alonso would not care to be a personal teacher, Stroll would learn tremendously simply by just being in the same garage as The Samurai Master himself. ;o)

And who knows? Like e.g. why is Alonso still at McLaren, if it wasn’t for his $40M annual pay-check? Would 50-60M at Williams be able to change his mind, now he must conclude none of the front running teams will offer him any seat for 2018?


I think you mean laugh..


I think you’ll see Alonso in an Indycar before a Williams. Did you see there blistering pace in Q1, at spa, a track they’re “supposed to be good at.” Sad days for Williams. Right now, the Williams would be a step backwards for Alonso, and given the car he’s currently in, hats saying a lot.


Do you think Paddy Lowe joining at the start of the year turns Williams into a front runner? Head says no, but the heart wants to say yes ….


Why would SEB go to Mercedes AMG ?
Its a F1 run by Britons with bills paid by Zermans.

The Chief Strategist always benefits LEW.
When LEW is ahead in the race, they play race/pit strategy by the book: driver ahead first.
When LEW is behind, they change the strategy to benefit him and afterwards say to the 2nd driver: “it was better for you”.

SEB is in F1’s Ultimate Mission, facing the Final Boss: win a title for Ferrari… and almost there.


Deweberis, I think you are confused about the team that favours it’s second driver. Vettel got the superior strategy in Monaco and Silverstone, despite running behind his team mate, Merc don’t do this.


I’d love to know the break clauses. If he’s number 1 for the 3 years. Ric and Max aren’t going to Ferrari. Accepting a 3 year deal with no number 1 and break clauses favorable to Vettel might be what we have here.


Ric was #2 to Vettle before. So whats the difference now?

Fulveo Ballabeo

If it doesn’t make sense for Renault to spend big on Alonso at this stage, without the car to challenge for wins and the title, then why does it make sense for McHonda?


Great choice for both Ferrari and Vettel.
Ferrari get the best driver on the grid and in turn he gets to carry the team on his shoulders and win the WC in an inferior car and become a legend.


Popov. And thats why Vettle went to Ferrari. To emulate MS. But some ppl don’t see it now


This effectively shuts door for Verstappen and Ricciardo in Ferrari.
Anybody who have seen Leclerc race would money on him to get the Ferrari seat after Kimi retires.


Rohind. FYi. Max in Ferrari by 2019


No, I don’t think so! Both those drivers are hot property!! I think Ferrari and Merc will fight for Max and Ricci in that order.


ATM not necessarily so. Bottas and Raikonnen are still not carrying anything more that an extra 12 months, that is assuming Bottas gets another single year contract. If that is the case then either RB driver might just make the cut. All that aside, RB are destined to wallow in no mans land as long as they are forced to use Renault’s sub par PU. That is a terrible shame as both Ricciardo and Verstappen are capable of WDC’s given the car to do it. Without that Mercedes Hamilton would be back on the third row as well.


You mean LH in 4th place?


Kenneth, I think Lewis would struggle to qualify at all without the Mercedes….


Leclerc would land the Ferrari seat first before Verstappen and Ricciardo.
They both have a chance only if Vettel doesnt renew the contract after 2020


Rohind. Lec needs experience. So lets say after 2021?


@ Rohind…you don’t know that. You might think so …..


Why does Alonso to Williams “not make sense” for Williams or for the Strolls ??


Plenty of reasons;
1. Alonso will want to be paid 24-40mil
2. Stroll family isn’t kicking in $40mil a year just to give it to Alonso
3. Alonso will make Lance look even worse than Massa does.
4. Unless Fernando has decided that he’s done challenging for titles then he would become very disgruntled very quickly.


That’s probably because the pot of gold is limited. They either pay Alonso’s salary or car developments – not both.

There’s also the risk of making Lance Stroll look ridiculous, which could affect the team’s budget if Stroll Sr see no interest in digging deep in his pockets.

Just have a look at how the highly tipped Stoffel has struggled against Fernando. It’s not hard to imagine how Lance would fare compared to Alonso.


My guess – Frank and Claire could do without spending weeks on end massaging the ego of a demanding Alonso.

Claire just banned their last world champion Jacque Villeneuve from setting foot into the Williams motor home for his comments on Stroll.

She can’t exactly alienate Alonso if he drives for Williams and shoots his mouth off about dominating Stroll.


You absolutely right JSL. Cheers


Good question! Alonso to Willaims does make sense. Lowe to help improve chassis from next year. Mercedes engine and maybe more of the merc drivetrain to be bought. Alonso as teacher for Lance, with dddy Stroll to pay for it. Alonso to bring Williams forward. Seems like a multiple win situation. I can see it happen, specially after todays frustration.


Vettel was off the pace in 2014 so he could trigger his release clause. Every driver needs a better car to be able to win gp’s, that’s why Bottas has won a gp now he is in a merc, thats why Hamilton did not win between 2009 – 2013, and Vettell between 2013 and ?, its mostly the car!!
Would be lovely to see a gp where all the f1 drivers are in the exact same car, would be some race, and some strange results too. Hamilton would not like a better team mate no more than vettell, I’m sure Verstappen, raikkonen etc would not care


And Vettel was so committed to losing that year that he continued to let Ricciardo wipe the floor with him even after he’d signed for Ferrari! What commitment!


AndewM, Ha ha great point! I think what people seem to forget when trying to explain Seb’s defeat at Dan the man’s hands, is that deliberately driving slowly and effectively throwing an entire season is actually worse than just having a bad year!


Vettel was off the pace in 2014 because he was outclassed by Ricciardo. Whether that was down to the car or talent is up to interpretation.

Hamilton has won a GP every season, and between 2008 and 2013 was the 2nd or 3rd fastest car at best.


I am so tired of this ‘off the pace in 014’ rubbish. You are watching the wrong sport if you think a four time champion is going to undertake such a thing to the new kid. Seb was trying – really trying. Further there are many other unbiased reports as to how hard he was trying and his very honest interview where he admitted that while he had been used to seeing Webber faster in fast corners, Ricci was just a bit faster everywhere and could do things he could not while using fewer tyres. Facts are he did not like the car. On such small things are championships made. Particularly for those that have specific driving requirements such as a bolted down rear end. Look at how when the Ferrari moved away from Seb liking last year things got a bit silly. Or how when Hamilton does not have the front grip he needs others can run with him.

By the way – Hamilton won many GP’s between 09-013 actually second in number only to SV. He also had the only non Red Bull pole in 2011. His worst year…

I very much doubt any of the top three think there is someone ‘better’ than them yet none of them have the rather nice set up SV has.

And only one of them has beaten another of the top three in his own team.

As a Rookie.


Not surprising. Ferrari is set until the new engine specification. Since both Ferrari and Sebastian do not like driver aggravation I do not expect any massive changes in the driver lineup until 2020. I expect Mercedes to confirm the Valtteri Bottas extension before the race in Malaysia and a Lewis extension by the end of the year. Apart from the rumour Williams will make the mistake of retaining Alonso, I think the driver lineup is set for the foreseeable future.


Well done be expected. Vettel didn’t have the minerals to go to Mercedes. He couldn’t wouldn’t want to be on equal terms with a top driver like Lewis Alonso Ricciardo Versteppen .
Instead he is happy having Kimi as his Butler.
What’s the odds if Kimi is ahead of Vettel they’ll swap the Spa Racer for the German Toy Driver.


I assume this is the same toy driver that won 4 world championships against the above mentioned champions. How many have you won?


@Biffa Bacon,
Could it just be that he feels Ferrari is the place to be for the near future. Of course not, he is just a 4 time World Champion (hopefully 5 time by year end. living in fear. Some people really… Marc


Why so snide?


Hamilton? The one who lost to average drivers like Jenson Button and Nico Rosberg?

Yeah that’s right, Jenson Button scored more points than Hamilton when the 2 were together and last year, Hamilton lost a 2 car championship, must be very embarrassing.

Hamilton is afraid to partner Vettel or Alonso, this is the reason why he never drives in Race of Champions where everyone races in equal cars.

He also said in 2015, “don’t give our engines to Red Bull if we want to win”, it’s pretty clear he’s afraid of competition and then comes in the public and says “Bring on competition” LOL.


Chinmay, and Alonso lost to Button and Hamilton, Ricciardo lost to Kvyat, Vettel lost to Ricciardo, and your point is what exactly?

53 missed the point. Which is put lH vs Alonso in same car. Result? Alonso will make Lewis ??you know..


S Andretti, are you suggesting that Alonso and Hamilton in the same team results in an Alonso victory? Well we know that’s not true don’t we….

Tornillo Amarillo

I’m amazed Hamilton today matched the 68-poles record and still there are so many haters that they even do not mention that.


Must be very embarrassing

Embarrassing to who exactly??
If I remember rightly, the saying goes “you win some, you lose some”.
And I think Lewis has won more than he’s lost chinmay.
But great post, very classy👍🏻


I like this guy. He isn’t blindly buying the noise. Certainly I share the opinion if anyone is wanting to avoid a top driver as team mate it’s Hamilton first and foremost. He couldn’t trounce Button…lots of little outbursts during that partnership.. nico took the recent win.. Bottas isn’t far off as a newbie to the team and had to follow team orders twice on his 3rd race. Seb certainly wants to avoid it too..i wonder what Ricciardo would think.


Cheesypoof, of course you like him, his hatred of Lewis has made him just as blind to the facts as you are! How’s those Alonso to Ferrari predictions working out for you…..?


When did I make an actual prediction that he would go to Ferrari? You must be listening to the Hamilton voices in your head again…


Cheesypoof, you certainly seemed to be under the impression that Ferrari and all the pthers would be clamouring for Fernando’s services as he is clearly head and shoulders above the rest. Seems you were wrong.


@ Cheesy…good post.


Hmmm the history revisionists are here early..

Try checking the bare stats – you know the ones that things called ‘seasons’ are made up of. Rather than this really strange three year points season that only Button was involved in.

You will find a strange thing where Hamilton’s efforts in teams using equality, beat his team mates a minimum of two to one in a three year stint, three to one in a four year stint and 1-0 in a year long stint.

Funny thing, he also out qualified, got more poles, podiums and wins on a similar ratio. Against world champions two of whom were current.

Anyone else in your strange rant managed that?


Drg…. take a check in planet F1 for Mr Chinmays ramblings… this is quite mild in comparison. I always pop over for a good chuckle once a weeK and Chinmay is always the guy to give me the most laughs 😂


@Drg – ah but, er but….

Oh yeah, Lewis Hamilton only won his first WDC because of a fiddle with that Irish driver Tim O’Glock – so there. Yah boo sucks.

And didn’t you know Lewis Hamilton sekritly owns Mercedes F1 and he makes all the decisions, Tonto and that Louder bloke are his puppets. U herd it heer furst.

Multi 21 to you too.


Never races in the race of champions, yep that’s a true mark of a talented driver, I’m sure he would give up some of his poles and wins so he could put that on his cv, the true mark of a top class driver according to your good self🙄 back to the original story, unless Lewis jacks it in , then unless Renault sort out there engine the 2redbull guys are going to be treading water again for the next 2 of years.


Don’t you remember when David Coulthard won the ROC a few years ago how everyone suddenly said he was the best driver in the world?


Or when Heikki Kovalainen beat Michael Schumacher….


“Hamilton is afraid to partner Vettel or Alonso”



In 2006 Euro F3 Vettel lost to his teammate, the great Paul Di Resta. He was frankly thrashed by Di Resta in the feature races. Even Giedo van der Garde (their other full time teammate) scored more poles than Vettel.

I want to see what Vettel does when Kimi retires next season.


To be fair, you can find lots of examples of junior formulae results that don’t match up with their F1 careers; I’ve no doubt Vettel would demolish them in F1. Having said that, there are more question marks about Vettel’s credentials than Hamilton, Alonso, Ricciardo or Verstappen if you ask me.

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