May 18 (GMM) Speculation Sebastian Vettel might retire at the end of 2020 is ramping up, with McLaren revealing that it never even negotiated with the Ferrari refugee.
“The subject of Sebastian was never raised with us,” team boss Andreas Seidl, who is reported to have been close with the quadruple world champion, told Sky Germany’s ‘Warm up – das F1 Spezial’ program.
“Negotiations were never held. It was always Carlos (Sainz) or Daniel (Ricciardo),” he added.
Seidl said he is “very happy with the outcome” of last week’s sensational moves in the 2021 driver market, and has no hard feelings about Sainz’s departure.
“We had a very open, transparent exchange with Carlos at all times,” he said. “We knew he was going to talk to Ferrari.
“At the same time, we have been talking to Daniel for a long time.”
As for Vettel, Seidl revealed that the German never enquired about joining McLaren, which would seem to indicate that retirement is on his mind.
“We didn’t assume that Sebastian would be available,” he said.
“I have good contact with Sebastian, we have spoken repeatedly in the past few days, just not about Formula 1.”
Finally, Seidl said he hopes Germany returns to the F1 calendar this year as the scene of a ‘ghost race’.
“We have also heard that Chase Carey is talking with Hockenheim,” he said. “I can well imagine a race in Germany happening.”