Sebastian Vettel says his unresolved Formula 1 future with Ferrari is not playing on his mind as he is more focused on the upcoming 2020 campaign.

The German is entering the final year of his current contract with Ferrari, which is due to expire at the end of the 2020 season. While Vettel and Ferrari are yet to agree a fresh deal, his teammate Charles Leclerc was handed a five-year extension over the winter.

With Max Verstappen tied down to Red Bull and Lewis Hamilton expected to remain with Mercedes for 2021 and beyond, it is highly likely Vettel will extend his spell with Ferrari.

Vettel has remained coy on the subject of his future on the eve of the championship’s new regulation era post-2021 but provided an update on the first day of the second pre-season test at Barcelona.

Asked how much the situation is weighing on his mind, Vettel replied: “Not more than last time, three years ago.

“Obviously right now we’re very busy with other stuff so therefore right now I would say zero.

“Time me will tell but it doesn’t change anything right now. I think we know what we want to achieve, where we want to go and where we are now, so the answer is still zero.”

Vettel, who said he remains determined to achieve his ambition of winning a title with Ferrari, insisted he was “quite happy” to see Leclerc receiving a new long-term deal at the Scuderia.

“So far right from the start I have a good relationship with Charles and I think we get along,” he explained.

“Obviously he’s at a very different stage in his career than I am. I am aware of that but ultimately I don’t think it matters too much.”

Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto reiterated his stance from pre-season that Vettel remains the Italian outfit’s “first option” and revealed he plans to open formal discussions with Vettel over dinner and a glass of red wine.

“I think I already mentioned that Seb is our first option, as I always mentioned it’s a great line-up, probably the best in F1, of which I am very happy and proud as Ferrari,” Binotto said.

“We started the early discussion with Seb and we are very aware that the contract is extinguishing, but it will come very soon to close the discussion and see what is in the best interest in both of us.

“What’s more important is the project which we’re sharing, even our longer-term view. I’m sure very soon we’ll come to an agreement.

“I know Seb now since many years, not in the position of team principal but as technician before,” he continued.

“From my side the last year has been important as we start knowing each other more and more and better and better. I think the relationship is good, it will be a natural discussion, not a matter where we need an appointment in our diaries.

“There will become a time when we start discussing closely, what are his objectives and what are our objectives, and share our view of the future.”

 

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