Sebastian Vettel’s future with Scuderia Ferrari has been confirmed, with the German extending his contract with the Italian outfit until the end of the 2020 Formula 1 season.
The current World Championship leader joined Ferrari from Red Bull Racing ahead of the 2015 season, and has won seven times for the Maranello-based team, four of which have come this year as he battles Lewis Hamilton at the front of the field.
Vettel’s future had been uncertain, with the German having been linked to the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team, but with a new three-year deal in his pocket, he can now turn his attention purely on fighting for the championship.
Mercedes non-executive chairman Niki Lauda revealed that brief talks with Vettel did take place for him to switch across, but with a competitive Ferrari team in 2017, there was no reason why Vettel wanted to leave.
“We discussed it briefly once with him, but the more competitive Ferrari goes the less the reason he would want to leave,” said Lauda to Sky. “So therefore we stopped right away a couple of months ago.
“I think every driver, if he’s clever, talks to more than one team. Then when you negotiate you’re in a better position. That’s what he did.”
Ferrari has not taken a driver to the Drivers’ Championship since Kimi Raikkonen triumphed back in 2007, and Vettel will be looking to change that statistic this season.