Italian-Canadian executive Sergio Marchionne has denied claims that German driver Sebastian Vettel was pushing to sign a new deal available for only one year with the Maranello team, before his longer extension was officially confirmed last week, adding that the four-time Formula One world champion is a “Ferrari man” through and through.
The length of Sebastian Vettel’s new contract, which will be available until the end of the 2020 F1 championship, caught many in the media by surprise, given the fact that there had been speculation the four-time world champion wanted to sign a one-year deal in case Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton did not agree on an extension beyond next season:
“If he did ask for a year, I am unaware of it. The only thing we ever talked about was whether it was a two or three-year deal. I think he’s happy here. I made that comment in the past. I told him he was free to sign up anytime he wanted to. I like Seb a lot. I think he has matured a lot even though he’s a world champion multiple times over. I think he’s matured a lot in the last year. He has a Ferrari man. Those things you don’t get out of your blood.” – Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne recently said, as reported by Sky Sports.
Ahead of the 2017 Italian Grand Prix, Sebastian Vettel leads the Formula One drivers’ championship by seven points with eight rounds of the season remaining. Sergio Marchionne believes the Maranello team has the capability of taking the fight to Mercedes to the final end: “We will take it as it comes in that shape, but obviously the objective is to try and clean this up. There’s been a huge development of the car since the beginning of the season. The rest of the season, this race excepted, seems to be more favourable to the characteristics of our car. If that’s true, then I think it’s going to be an interesting dog fight between us and Mercedes right to the end, and it’ll be a great season. I think it’s going to be the stuff that Formula 1 should be made of as a sport.” – Sergio Marchionne concluded on Saturday, ahead of the qualifying session for the Italian GP.