If you thought the 2020 season was just about lull and no drama, then think again. News confirming that Sebastian Vettel will leave Ferrari- his current team- at the end of the 2020 season has already taken the F1 world by a storm.
It’s a piece of development that’s filled with emotion, signals a void of sorts, and points to the many possibilities that could occur to the sport’s most popular outfit.
What happens now? Where does Vettel go next is the big obvious question lurking in our minds. But before that, here’s a reality check.
The question that what might happen to Vettel was anyways gathering steam ever since the dust settled on the 2019 Formula 1 season.
This wasn’t the best year for Ferrari- was it? Beaten fair and square by Red Bull and the two Mercedes drivers, it was to be a season where the Italian team would pick up only 3 wins, of which Vettel’s share was far too insignificant, given the lone win at Singapore’s night race.
Win it certainly was, but one that didn’t spell a victory!
Surely, it wasn’t hard to see that Sebastian Vettel had seen better days than enduring the ignominy called the 2019 season. In a year where the young, highly inexperienced driver Charles Leclerc managed to beat the stronger adversary in the German, the Monegasque scoring 264 points in comparison to Vettel’s 240, you wondered whether Vettel had run out of ideas?
Or was it that there was no more fuel left in the tank?
For a period of half a decade, Sebastian Vettel contested with grit, significant appetite albeit with limited success against his strongest adversary: Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton.
But spare a thought for the valiant Sebastian Vettel.
Time and again, as Lewis went on to demonstrate what can only be called a master-class in driving, simply not allowing anyone else on the grid to win the world championship in the aftermath of 2016, the only one driver who managed to put up a fight to the famous Briton was Sebastian Vettel.
In just his maiden season with the Scuderia, it was Vettel, not Raikkonen who took the third step on the podium, finishing behind the two Mercedes drivers Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton, with 278 points.
Yes, 2016 brought about a nosedive in performances where Vettel gathered just 212 points but he would be back again, scoring handsomely in 2017 and 2018, wherein he’d garner 317 and 320 points, respectively.
Surely, there were incredible wins in a stay that lasted a little over half a decade with the sport’s famous outfit. One can’t possibly forget his famous win at Sepang, Malaysia in 2015. One has to give credit to the fortune-assisted win at Monaco in 2017 when Kimi had put out a belter of a lap to grab the qualifying battle by the scruff of its neck.
We know what might have happened if Raikkonen would’ve never been asked to dive into the pits at the halfway stage.
But we cannot possibly undermine his sensational triumphs at Melbourne and Bahrain’s Sakhir, instances, where he proved not even Mercedes, could find an answer to his sizzling pace and Ferrari’s straight-line advantage speed.
Though, quite like his former on-track adversary; double-world champion Fernando Alonso, Sebastian Vettel is to leave the Scuderia with a sense of unfinished business; having not picked a world title.
Yet, it makes sense to dub Sebastian Vettel‘s 6-year long Ferrari stint as being doused as much with passion as limited success.
While he did manage to pick 14 career wins with the Italian marquee and grab 54 podiums, which at the outset point to a prized statistical gathering, not winning a world title will always come to haunt one of the sport’s most popular drivers.
So where does Sebastian Vettel go now? Can there be a drive at Renault? Will he partner the returning Esteban Ocon for 2021 or will that seat go to Fernando Alonso, as suggested by the paddock grapevine?
Moreover, what becomes of the second driver alongside Leclerc? Will we see Daniel Ricciardo co-racing beside Ferrari’s number 1 driver at the moment or will that famous spot go to current McLaren driver Carlos Sainz Jr.?
Many questions reign supreme at this point. For now, we will have to wait and watch to see where Sebastian Vettel drives.