Ex-Formula 1 driver Pedro de la Rosa believes that Sebastian Vettel has his contract extension in his own hand. If he wanted to continue driving at Ferrari in 2021, he would get a new contract. The only question for the Spaniard is whether Vettel wants to. And for him that mainly depends on teammate Charles Leclerc.
“It is very simple: if he is beaten, he will not want to continue,” he says in the podcast ‘Beyond the Grid’. That said, should Sebastian Vettel lose his team duel against Monegasque, it will be his last season with Ferrari.
“You just feel very small when your teammate is faster than you. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a four-time world champion or whoever,” said de la Rosa. “You fall asleep every night knowing that you have an animal by your side that will destroy your lap time. And that is difficult.”
And at some point in life, the point had come where you no longer want that. Drivers like Charles Leclerc or Max Verstappen have yet to prove themselves, Sebastian Vettel with his 32 years and four World Championship titles no longer.
And that’s why de la Rosa believes that Ferrari’s driver pairing in 2021 will depend entirely on the outcome of the team duel. “If he wants, he keeps going. But if Leclerc hits him, he’ll be the first to raise his hand and go home or do something else or change the team.”
In 2019, Leclerc had the upper hand in its first Ferrari year: Monegasse finished fourth in the World Championship with 264 points, Vettel finished fifth with 240 points.