Ferrari could begin new contract talks with Vettel soon - report

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Talks to decide the future of Sebastian Vettel at Ferrari could begin soon, according to Italian insider Leo Turrini.

The four-time world champion is out of contract at the end of the season and speculation has been growing over his future over the past year.

Notable errors and the performance of Charles Leclerc has suggested Vettel's role at Ferrari could diminish, with the pair already heading into this 2020 on an equal status.

But team boss Mattia Binotto has already stated the 32-year-old is the "first choice" for next year and now the Scuderia is about to put the ball in Sebastian's court.

“Ferrari have informed Sebastian Vettel that it is ready to discuss the conditions for a new contract," Turrini wrote in his Quotidiano blog.

“It is only the first move of a delicate chess game.

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“Vettel is interested to renew the contract but all will depend on the performance of the new car and the relationship between Seb and Charles Leclerc.”

In recent, initial hype of Lewis Hamilton considering a switch to Ferrari has eased, with the six-time world champion now expected to stay at Mercedes.

As a result, only names like Daniel Ricciardo and Valtteri Bottas remain as likely alternatives for Vettel's seat, should Ferrari consider a change.

But as long as the German shows an improvement compared to last year and has the motivation to stay in F1 for 2021 and beyond, a renewal does seem increasingly likely.