With the Formula One season yet to race away from the starting grid, this has left drivers, constructors and fans in limbo over the 2020 season.
However, one issue which needs to be taken into account is the driver’s contracts, with Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel seemingly in a difficult situation.
At the start of the 2020 campaign, Vettel had the season to prove his worth during the final year of his contract but the outbreak of the coronavirus has certainly disrupted the German’s plans.
According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, the offer on the table is 12 million euros and just a one-year contract extension.
This is reportedly a considerable drop in cash from his original contract, while his youthful team-mate Charles Leclerc signed a deal prior to 2020 that secured his services until 2024.
Therefore, this indicates that a potential switch in lead driver duties has already occurred and that there’s a strong possibility that Vettel might depart, with other up-and-coming drivers seemingly eager to take his place.
The contracts of Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo and McLaren’s Carlos Sainz are up at the end of the season, with either of the two possibly looking to make the step up into the Ferrari seat.
Ricciardo left Red Bull two years ago as he embarked on the journey of evading the shadow of Max Verstappen.
However, his French adventure with Renault hasn’t exactly gone to plan, with an inconsistent car seemingly halting the Australian’s potential. Therefore, the Aussie may be looking to return to the big leagues by replacing Vettel.
Sainz, on the other hand, took the seat at McLaren and excelled under Zak Brown. With the constructor’s slow but steady progress over the years, Sainz accelerated McLaren to the forefront of the midfield and even achieved third in the Brazilian GP – McLaren’s highest finish in five years.
On reflection, it’s clear that either of these two has the potential to replace Vettel but there appears to be an outside horse within the race for Vettel’s seat, if the German decides against renewing.
F1 Insider has reported that two-time former world champion Fernando Alonso is rumoured to be interested in the seat, as the Spaniard could come out of retirement.
So far, with safety at the epicentre of the concerns, a total of nine races have been postponed. The FIA have shared their plans to kickstart the season where possible, stating, “as soon as it is safe to do so after May.”
Therefore, given the lack of opportunity to demonstrate Vettel’s worth, there is a very real possibility that we could be seeing a fresh face in the Ferrari garage in 2021.