Sebastian Vettel has dismissed suggestions he could retire from Formula 1 at the end of the 2019 season.

Vettel, who made his F1 debut in 2007, has a contract with Ferrari that does not expire until the end of next season in 2020.

But former F1 supremo and Vettel’s close friend, Bernie Ecclestone, recently said he could see the four-time world champion calling time on his tenure in the sport.

Asked about Ecclestone’s comments, Vettel replied: “I’m not going to be in Formula 1 as long as he was, that’s for sure. But I hope I’m going to be as fit and as sharp as he is today when I’m hopefully that old.

“I don’t know, to be honest. At the moment I feel on top of my game, I feel that I know what I’m doing. I’m very very self-critical, very ambitious and I put a lot of expectation on to myself.

“I love driving, I love the sensation of the speed, I love fighting with these guys so there’s a lot of things that at the moment I really like and I’ll miss so that’s why it’s not an option to quit tomorrow, I’m quite happy to race.

“And then, yeah, I’ve got the contract but that’s a piece of paper and then we see what happens.”

In an interview with The Times last month, Vettel cast doubts over his long-term F1 future regarding the sport’s planned major regulation changes for 2021, adding that the championship is now “more a show and a business than a sport.”

Vettel has suffered back-to-back title defeats at the hands of Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes and is determined to achieve Ferrari’s first world championship triumph since 2008 this season.

 

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