Ferrari chief Mattia Binotto explains why Sebastian Vettel is really leaving Maranello

Ferrari and Sebastian Vettel will part ways at the end of the year after a turbulent six-years partnership. The German joined the Italian team from Red Bull in 2015 but he has failed to end their 12-year Championship drought.

The 2020 F1 season has been postponed until July which has left many teams and drivers thinking about their structures.

Ferrari knew Vettel’s contract was set to expire and they have opted against offering him an extension.

There are rumours that the 32-year-old may retire from motorsport’s premier competition after a glittering career which brought four world titles.

But Binotto says that is not the reason why they will split as he points out other issues.

“When taking these decisions it’s because we are convinced we made the right decision,” explained Binotto.

“We closed a cycle with Sebastian, it’s been six years he has been working in our team. I admire Sebastian as a person and as a driver. I hold him in great esteem.

“Over the last weeks, the world has changed, not only from an economic point of view but also from a technical and sporting point of view.

“There are challenges and obstacles ahead. We are laying the foundations for our future. And we want to have a specific perspective.

“We discussed it with Sebastian and we found out we didn’t share the same short or long-term goals.”

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McLaren ace Carlos Sainz will replace Vettel from 2021 and in turn Daniel Ricciardo will leave Renault to join McLaren.

“Sainz is a great addition,” Binotto added. “He’s very smart, young, but he has participated in five seasons.

“He’s a strong, reliable driver that has scored a lot of points and I believe he is a great driver to be paired with the pure talent of Charles [Leclerc], so that he can grow and win.”

Sainz penned a letter to McLaren fans where he wrote: “I’ve always felt the passion and support from you guys – the McLaren fans, who cheer relentlessly in every single country we race – you are simply amazing.

“Since the very first day you gave me the warmest of welcomes and I am sure we are going to enjoy together the rest of my smooth operation.

“I cannot be more grateful to every single member of the McLaren family and I really look forward to battling you guys on track next year. it’s an honour to be part of your history. and all I can say is ‘thank you’.”

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