Sebastian Vettel has joked he was “already doing holiday” in 2020 in response to rumours he will quit Formula 1 following the end of the current campaign.

The German has a contract with Ferrari until the end of next season but speculation has intensified regarding his future throughout 2019, with Vettel appearing to become more disillusioned with the championship amid a frustrating year.

Vettel ended the season with just one victory to his name and was beaten to fourth place in the drivers’ championship by new teammate Charles Leclerc. He finished 24 points behind the Monegasque and 173 adrift of champion Lewis Hamilton.

“I was already doing holiday next year, I heard before I’m stopping,” Vettel joked in response to a question about his plans for 2020.

“I don’t know who was the one [to start the speculation], seems to know more than me, but since you journalists are always right, then it will hit me in the next weeks.

“I’ve had a couple of mistakes that I shouldn’t make. I have to be honest, obviously in terms of approach, maybe small things I can do.

“Less interviews will help! It’s all part of the negotiations for next year before any other negotiations.”

Vettel admitted after Sunday’s finale in Abu Dhabi - where he finished a distant fifth - that he “must do better” in 2020 in order to help Ferrari challenge Mercedes for both world championships.

“I don’t think there is rocket science to be changed, it’s always in the details, small adjustments, nothing big and major,” he explained.

“I don’t need to drive differently, I know how to drive, we all work together trying to improve the car, trying to make it faster for both of us, but yeah, you’re always looking at yourself.

“I’m not doing the same stuff as I did 10 years ago, I’ve evolved. And I think to the better, but certainly here and there, there are things you always feel you can do better.

“I’ve always done what I can do,” Vettel added. “I’ve been around for long enough, and I’m honest enough to admit.

“Here and there, I should have done a better job, I know there is more from my side.

“Clearly I look at myself first, address all the points I think need to be addressed, first addressed the points that need to be addressed at myself so I think there are things I can do better, that I know I can do better so that’s the first thing I look at and try to do better next year.”

 

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