Ferrari are reportedly set to begin new contract talks with 'first choice' Sebastian Vettel

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Ferrari is set to commence contract renewal talks with four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel soon, according to Italian insider, Leo Turrini.

Vettel, who simply has not been able to recreate the kind of electrifying racing that saw him dominate the sport during his time at Red Bull, is out of contract at the end of the upcoming season.

Unsurprisingly, speculation surrounding his future has been mounting over recent months with Vettel said to be feeling rather underwhelmed with life at the Italian giants.

Last season was plagued with uncharacteristic errors and the rise of exciting talent Charles Leclerc has had many predicting that the German could be on his way out of Ferrari.

However, team boss Mattia Binotto has stated that Vettel is still their first choice driver for next season and it seems they are very eager to retain his services.

“Ferrari have informed Sebastian Vettel that it is ready to discuss the conditions for a new contract,” Turrini wrote in his Quotidiano blog.

“It is only the first move of a delicate chess game.

“Vettel is interested to renew the contract but all will depend on the performance of the new car and the relationship between Seb and Charles Leclerc.”

Whether Vettel chooses to stay, however, is another kettle of fish entirely.

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The 32-year-old is getting on a bit in age and, having finished way off the pace in fifth last year, Vettel may just be eyeing out other options.

The simple fact of the matter is the Ferrari couldn’t keep up last year, and the performance of the 2020 car could be telling in whether or not Vettel decides to stay in the end.

We will know more about how close Ferrari may or may not get to Mercedes soon, with pre-season testing set to kick off in Barcelona this week.

The powers that be know they have to improve and then some if they want to hang onto Vettel - it is definitely going to be a subplot worth keeping an eye on as the season develops.

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