Scuderia Ferrari have confirmed that Sebastian Vettel has signed a contract extension, ending speculation over his future in Formula 1, in an agreement that will keep him at Maranello through to the end of the 2020 Formula 1 season.
Vettel’s current Ferrari deal was set to expire at the end of the season and he had hinted that he was in no hurry to sort his future, telling reporters on Thursday not to expect news until after the Italian Grand Prix.
However, Ferrari confirmed today that it has put pen to paper with Vettel on a new contract covering the 2018, 2019 and 2020 campaigns.
Immediately after the news was revealed, Mercedes confirmed it held talks with the four-time world champion earlier this year, but that Ferrari’s resurgence this season made him unwilling to make a switch.
Mercedes non-executive Niki Lauda told Sky Sports: “We discussed it briefly once with him, but the more competitive Ferrari goes the less the reason he would want to leave. 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.”
Vettel’s decision to stay at Ferrari also means the team’s 2018 line-up has been finalised, after Kimi Räikkönen’s contract extension was confirmed earlier this week.
*excerts courtesy gpupdate