Sebastian Vettel remains the driver Mattia Binotto wants to partner Charles Leclerc next year but Ferrari are unwilling to rethink their plan to slash his salary. The four-time F1 champion is at a crossroads in his career with his contract expiring at the end of the coming season.
Ferrari have insisted they are eager for Vettel to stick around going into 2021 but are privately keen for him to accept a huge reduction in pay.
Vettel faces seeing his current £35m-a-year wages cut down by around two thirds if he puts pen to paper on the Italians’ current offer.
The proposal takes into account the 32-year-old’s failure to win a title since joining Ferrari from Red Bull, as well as the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on them and F1 more broadly.
F1-Insider.com report Ferrari are unwilling to consider upping the money on the table because it should still be seen as an honour to drive for them.
Binotto, though, is apparently now happy to hand Vettel a two-year deal – with an option to extend it – which may prove a sweetener despite the pay cut.
Speaking on a conference call with reporters last month, Vettel revealed he expects to have his future sorted before he and his rivals go racing again this summer.
“It depends when we will have the first race,” Vettel said, when asked if his next contract will be finalised before the start of the season.
“There is a high chance we will have to make a decision before there will be the first race because at the moment it looks like there will be no race before June or even July.
“The main priority at first was to ensure that we’re all dealing with the situation in the right way.
“Therefore, everything was put on hold and I can imagine that’s the same everywhere else and it was the same for us.
“It’s not like a couple of days after Australia we said: ‘right now [we’ll talk]. We will make progress’.
“Whatever the deal will be like, it will be whatever I and the team will be comfortable with.
“So in terms of duration I don’t know. Normally the contracts I’ve had in the past were all three-year deals.
“I know I’m one of the more experienced drivers in Formula 1 but I’m not the oldest and I don’t think there’s an age limit in this regard.”