Vettel denies preparing retirement announcement
"It is being portrayed in an exaggerated way"
Sebastian Vettel has denied he is preparing to announce his retirement from Formula 1.
Highly respected British commentator Martin Brundle revealed on Saturday that the quadruple world champion has requested an interview ahead of next weekend’s Hungarian GP.
It follows speculation Vettel might even quit Ferrari before the end of the 2020 season, but the German insists he is "not going to run away" from his commitment.
As for the suggestion his interview with Brundle next Thursday is to announce his retirement at the end of the season, Vettel told Germany’s Sport1: "Not true.
"Actually, an interview with Sky was planned for Austria, but we had to postpone that. It is being portrayed in an exaggerated way," he insisted.
Vettel said requesting an interview with Brundle is not strange "as there are no print journalists in the paddock. We can only talk to the TV guys", the 33-year-old added.
According to Alpha Tauri boss Franz Tost, who has a close relationship with Vettel, the current Ferrari driver’s career cannot be written off yet.
"I would wait and see how the season goes," he said. "If a four-time world champion is on form, a top team cannot really ignore him."
As for Ferrari’s current situation, though, team boss Mattia Binotto admits that the fact new aerodynamic parts did not improve the situation this weekend is a concern.
"We have to work out why and change this state of affairs, which is just not good enough for a team by the name of Ferrari," he said.
The big rumour is that the engine legality saga of 2019 left Ferrari’s current power unit seriously down on power.
"If you look at all the cars with Ferrari engines, there are similarities," said Haas driver Kevin Magnussen. "All I can see is that we are slower on the straights than last year."
According to former F1 driver Ralf Schumacher, the pressure is piling on Binotto.
"For Seb, it was very important to beat Leclerc in those conditions," he said after qualifying.
"However, the fact that both cars were so bad even in the rain shows that something is also wrong on the mechanical side," Schumacher told Sky Deutschland.
"If I was Binotto, I would be dreading the call from my boss."
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