Vettel delivers damning Ferrari verdict: "I have failed, we have failed"
Sebastian Vettel has declared his time at Ferrari to be a failure but has also conceded to surprise the Formula 1 team opted not to offer him a new deal.
The four-time F1 champion is to leave the team at the end of this year, bringing to an end what will be a six-season partnership.
A gradual increase in mistakes and an average showing in 2019 against new team-mate Charles Leclerc ultimately led to Ferrari pushing him towards the exit door.
“It was obviously a surprise to me when I got the call from [team principal] Mattia [Binotto] when he told me that there was no further intention for the team to continue [with me],” said Vettel.
“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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Addressing his time at Ferrari during Thursday's FIA drivers' press conference at the Red Bull Ring ahead of Sunday's opening race in Austria, Vettel said: “I think, first of all, you have to obviously say that from the day that I joined, we’ve tried everything together to fight for the championship which I think is what we have done on several occasions. We did not win the championship.
“In that regard, looking back also, I have failed, we have failed.
“Obviously, we set out with a clear target that we wanted to achieve and the truth is that, up to this point, we didn’t.
“We still have this season ahead of us. Given that it’s such a strange season, strange start without fans, without people here, I think it’s impossible know exactly what to expect from us, so I think it would be too soon to right everything off.
“When you talk about looking back, here and there was missing a little bit. I think in the end we were never able to put the package together until the end of the year that was good enough to fight for the championship.
“In the end, it’s quite simple. We were not quick enough, our package was not good enough, and, as a team, we were not as strong as Mercedes.”
Questioned on where his future may lie, the German believed to be a frontrunner for the vacancy at Renault, Vettel said he will take his time to make a decision.
"Obviously I want to make sure I make the right decision for myself and my future,” he continued.
"I think I have a very competitive nature, I have achieved a lot in the sport, 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 it is quite clear.
"If that’s not the case then I’ll probably have to look out for something else.”
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