Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari are believed to be at loggerheads over the German’s new contract, according to Finnish newspaper Ilta Sanomat.
Vettel is out of contract at the end of this season, but Ferrari have put a lucrative three-year deal on the table for the four-time World Champion.
However, Ilta Sanomat claim they have sources that believe Vettel is holding out for a new one-year deal instead in order to keep his options for 2019, when Lewis Hamilton’s contract with Mercedes expires.
“I think I have been public on the Sebastian issue,” he said when asked about Vettel’s future with the team, “if he wants to stay he is more than welcome to stay.”
The German’s current contract runs out at the end of the season, bu the four-time world champion, keen not to repeat the mistake of Fernando Alonso and remain with a team unable to win the title is said to be eyeing numerous option.
While a number of driver contracts are up this year, one of the most coveted seats, that of Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes, is taken until the end of 2018.
Consequently, there have been claims that Vettel already has a pre-agreement with Mercedes for 2019, though none of the various parties involved are talking of such things.
Finland’s Ilta Sanomat claims that while Ferrari is offering a three-year deal, Vettel is only interested in a one-year contract, a move that would leave his options open for 2019 and beyond, after all, 2017 could mark the beginning of another golden era for the Maranello outfit.
Revealing that his team’s line-up should be made at Monza, Marchionne has even suggested that kimi Raikkonen will be retained, a move that would help to keep Vettel on board.
Speaking in Hungary however, the German was giving little away.
“It’s true that I haven’t got a contract yet but I think the primary objective at the moment is not to look at papers and worry about those things, I think it’s to make sure that we get some good results,” he told reporters, “there is a bit more time.”
Asked why the delay in agreeing the deal, if he is staying at Ferrari, he said: “As far delaying, I think the fact we are working hard, both from the team’s point, my point, I think we have other things to do right now, so, as I said, in the summer there’s a bit more time.
“There’s a couple of weeks’ stretch where there is no race but for now I think the focus is extremely high on working on the car. So, for me I’m obviously not designing the bits but trying to give as much feedback as I can, trying to spend time in the simulator, generally talking to the team. That, at the moment, has priority.
“As I said, a piece of paper can be signed fairly quickly so that’s not a problem.
“I’m not in a rush,” he insisted, “I don’t think the team is in a rush, as far as I understood, I think I have a good contact to the team, I think they would tell me otherwise so, as I said, there’s no problem, nothing wrong.”