Vettel reveals 'surprise' Ferrari call from Binotto to announce 2020 exit

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Sebastian Vettel has revealed it was Ferrari who solely decided not to retain him next year, not a mutual agreement.

Thursday in Austria was the first chance for the four-time world champion to speak with the world's media after it was announced he would leaving Maranello after five years at the end of 2020.

And very quickly, the story that Ferrari offered, that it was an amicable decision not to continue together, was torn to shreds.

"It was obviously a surprise to me when I got the call by (team boss) Mattia [Binotto] and he told me that there was no further intention from the team to continue," he told The Sun.

"We never got into any discussions. There was never an offer on the table and therefore there was no sticking point.”

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The confirmation of no offer being made also dispels another rumour which suggested Vettel was wanting a multi-year deal having only been given one and that Ferrari was demanding he took a hefty pay cut.

Quite what the motivation was for the Italian team we'll probably never know for sure, whether it was Seb's error-strewn past few seasons, the rise of Charles Leclerc or the need to reduce costs due to the budget cap and Covid-19.

As it is, Carlos Sainz is now on his way to wear red next season, but as for Vettel's future, he confirmed no talks have yet been held with any other F1 teams, with Renault considered his only likely option.

But he did make it clear, he would like to continue racing if he can.

"Looking forward obviously I want to make sure I make the right decision for myself and my future," he said.

"I think I have a very competitive nature. I've achieved a lot in the sport and I'm motivated and willing to achieve more.

"To do so, I need the right package and the right people around me. So that's what I'm looking out for at the moment.

"If the right opportunity should arise, then I think it is quite clear. If that's not the case, then I probably have to look out for something else."

Should he not be on the 2021 grid, however, the 33-year-old on Friday says he would retire for good.

"I am of the conviction that if you are prepared to let's say shut the door, then you should be prepared to shut that door, and not shut it and expect it to open again," he said.

"I think you have to be aware of the decision that you are making at the time, and that's why also I'm not rushing into anything.

"I think it's good to get the season under way, but the next weeks and months will probably bring some more clarity."