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Ferrari have offered Vettel a two-year contract extension that will see the four-time world champion remain with the team until the end of the 2019 season, it has been reported.

Vettel has established himself as the Prancing Horse's lead driver since arriving from Red Bull at the beginning of 2015, when he enjoyed the most successful debut season of any Ferrari driver by claiming 13 podium finishes, including three victories in Malaysia, Hungary and Singapore.


His strong debut campaign led to suggestions that Vettel and Ferrari could challenge Mercedes for the world championship in 2016, but the team remain without a win with just five races of this season remaining.

According to a print edition F1 Racing magazine, Ferrari have been concerned by Vettel's failure to dominate team-mate Raikkonen this year, with the team unsure whether the former has "slipped back a little" or the latter has genuinely "upped his game" since earning a new deal of his own.

In any case, the team "are still committed to Vettel and want him to stay," with "sources close to Ferrari" suggesting team and driver "are in the early phases of negotiations" over a new two-year deal, which may take some time to finalise.

The same source noted Vettel's willingness to stay could depend on "how strongly he believes in Ferrari's ability" to recover from a disappointing 2016, which saw the team replace technical director James Allison with Mattia Binotto ahead of July's German GP as part of a midseason reshuffle.

However, a lack of alternative options could leave Vettel with "no choice but to remain at Ferrari."

Hamilton and Rosberg are contracted to Mercedes until the end of 2018, while Red Bull—with a commitment to discovering young talent—"would not be interested in taking Vettel back again."

That leaves McLaren-Honda as Vettel's only "realistic" non-Ferrari option, with doubts remaining over the future of two-time world champion Fernando Alonso, who has warned he could quit F1 at the end of 2017, per ESPN F1's Laurence Edmondson.

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Source : https://bleacherreport.com/articles/2666869-formula-1s-latest-rumours-talk-sebastian-vettel-contract-sergio-perez-more

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