Binotto hopes Vettel moves to Mercedes
"Ferrari undoubtedly loves Sebastian for many reasons"
Mattia Binotto has denied that Ferrari and Sebastian Vettel parted ways because of the details of a proposed contract.
Some reports have suggested that the Maranello team was insisting on a significantly less lucrative contract and just a one-year extension for the quadruple world champion.
But team boss Binotto told Spain’s Marca: "It was not about the type of offer or the duration of the agreement.
"Ferrari undoubtedly loves Sebastian for many reasons - both as a driver and as a person. Seb was our first choice, and then the corona crisis came and it changed many things.
"The regulations, the budget ceiling, many things changed our vision of the situation as we look ahead to the new cars that are postponed to 2022," he added.
"We opted for transparency with Seb because he had to think about his future and we couldn’t postpone the decision either," he is also quoted by La Stampa newspaper.
Binotto says he hopes Vettel, 32, manages to secure another top cockpit to remain in F1 in 2021.
"I heard rumours that he could go to Mercedes. I would be very happy for him," said the Italian.
"For us, things simply changed and our vision, in terms of timing, did not coincide with his vision."
Binotto says Vettel leaving the sport would be a "big loss" for Formula 1, but he tips the German to behave impeccably at Ferrari in his final races.
"Seb is a great person, a great professional with a sense of responsibility, and I am sure he wants to finish his last year at Ferrari in a good position achieving the best for the team," he said.
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