Sebastian Vettel was Ferrari’s first choice to remain and companion Charles Leclerc in Formula One subsequent yr till the COVID-19 pandemic changed every thing, staff principal Mattia Binotto mentioned on Friday.
The four-times world champion, who gained his titles with Red Bull, will now get replaced by Spaniard Carlos Sainz who joins from McLaren on the finish of the season in a call introduced in May.
Vettel, who celebrated his 33rd birthday on the Austrian Grand Prix on Friday, had anticipated to stay and mentioned on Thursday he was stunned by Ferrari’s determination.
The German revealed additionally that there had by no means been a proposal on the desk.
“Certainly we have always said during the winter time privately and publicly that he would have been our first choice, which I confirm,” Binotto instructed reporters in a video convention on the Red Bull Ring.
“It’s normal that during winter time many drivers have asked us if there were any opportunities to drive for Ferrari, so we have certainly been contacted. That didn’t change our position, so Seb was our first choice.
“What occurred since then? I believe virus and pandemic scenario, which changed the complete world not solely our motorsport, our F1.”
Binotto pointed also to the consequent decision to postpone sweeping new regulations from 2021 to 2022, meaning the same cars will be raced next year, as well as the introduction next year of a budget cap.
“Let’s say that the complete scenario has changed,” said the Ferrari boss.
“And on high of that the season has not began, so there have been no alternatives even for Seb to be again on observe to show how a lot he was actually motivated in some way to drive for Ferrari, which has been in some way unlucky for him.”
Binotto accepted that “even at this time he (Vettel) shouldn’t be absolutely proud of it, which is once more one thing which is regular and apparent.”