Podcast: Who should replace Sebastian Vettel at Ferrari?

Vettel's existing three-year deal expires at the end of the season but, after months of talks over a fresh contract without a breakthrough, the decision was taken to part company.

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In the latest Autosport Podcast, Grand Prix Editor Alex Kalinauckas is joined by F1 reporter Luke Smith, as well as Jess McFadyen and Stuart Codling to discuss the announcement and what Vettel's next steps may be. You can listen to their discussion below...

Speaking about the decision, Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto said it was in the interest of both parties to split: “This is a decision taken jointly by ourselves and Sebastian, one which both parties feel is for the best.

“It was not an easy decision to reach, given Sebastian’s worth as a driver and as a person. There was no specific reason that led to this decision, apart from the common and amicable belief that the time had come to go our separate ways in order to reach our respective objectives.”

Why Vettel rejected Ferrari's offer

Vettel is understood to have been offered a short-term contract at a reduced salary compared to his previous deals, but stressed in his announcement that financial considerations played no part in the decision.

“In order to get the best possible results in this sport, it’s vital for all parties to work in perfect harmony. The team and I have realised that there is no longer a common desire to stay together beyond the end of this season,” Vettel said.

“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. One needs to use one’s imagination and to adopt a new approach to a situation that has changed. I myself will take the time I need to reflect on what really matters when it comes to my future.

“Scuderia Ferrari occupies a special place in Formula 1 and I hope it gets all the success it deserves. Finally, I want to thank the whole Ferrari family and above all its ‘Tifosi’ all around the world, for the support they have given me over the years.

“My immediate goal is to finish my long stint with Ferrari, in the hope of sharing some more beautiful moments together, to add to all those we have enjoyed so far.”