What else after the four-time world champion?

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Retrieved 12 May 2020, 18:18 IST

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Sebastian Vettel

Sebertian Vettel is leaving Ferrari in a decision that could have sparked a chain reaction to running in Formula One.

It was confirmed on Tuesday that Vettel’s contract with Scuderia would not be extended beyond 2020, ending a six-year relationship.

Both sides have a mission feeling and the main question now for Ferrari and Vettel is “What’s next?”

Okay, below we take a look at some of the different scenes involving Renault, McLaren and Mercedes …

RENAULT

Vettel’s possible replacement at Ferrari will be his former Red Bull teammate Daniel Ricardo. Experienced, super competitive and highly talented, the Australian will certainly put advanced talent Charles Lellark on his toes. If the 30-year-old chooses to leave Renault – with whom he endured his first season of frustration – the gap could be wide open for Vettel. Vettel has another potential route to finish in the French team.

McLaren

At the top of Ferrari’s list of priorities will be Carlos Sanz Jr., who ranks sixth for McLaren, who is recovering from the position of 2019 drivers. At the age of 25, Sanz has time on his hands but one of his extra talents is sure of a competitive drive long ago and McLaren is still a stable team. So, it makes sense that the move to Ferrari would be tempting, thus opening up space in the walking-based team. Will Vettel still be satisfied to drive for a team of rebuilders? Of course, McLaren has a history and the project will be interesting. Another scene saw Ricardo move toward McLaren, a group that had serious discussions with him when the Red Bull left. Of course, it will come for free … Yes, you guessed it, Renault.

Mercedes

Unexpected alternatives and really somewhat naughty advice, but you see the appeal of talented German driving on behalf of the influential German team. World champion and lead driver Lewis Hamilton looks set to extend his contract further, even after 2020. Hamilton was not seen as a serious alternative to Ferrari, who does not appear to have developed around Leclerc. But in a scenario where Renlo’s inauguration could be in favor of Hamilton’s second-ranked Valerie Botas, is the French maker likely to be the lead person? If so, would the temptation to be a four-time world champion be too much for Mercedes?

Retirement

Fans of Vettel and F1 in general will expect this option not to work but you have to wonder if it is something to be considered now. Vettel came to Ferrari hoping to emulate patriot Michael Schumacher but left with an incomplete goal. The last 18 months have been a particularly frustrating one, with the number of errors gradually increasing and the torch-cutting near Leshark becoming even more evident. Perhaps Vettel can confirm his place among the F1 Greats and decide that he has nothing to prove.