Ferrari has reportedly made its first official contract-extension offer to Sebastian Vettel, albeit one that would represent a significant downgrade for the four-time world champion.
Per Sky Sport Italia, the Scuderia are offering Vettel merely a one-year extension to the three-year, €100 million deal he signed in 2017, with a “drastic” decrease in salary.
As the report notes, Vettel’s stock at Ferrari took a significant hit in 2019 with the emergence of teammate Charles Leclerc, while the delayed start to the 2020 season has left him with no opportunity to reassert his position as the team’s number one driver.
Compounding matters, Ferrari already has a list of drivers it considers viable replacements: Daniel Ricciardo, Carlos Sainz and Antonio Giovinazzi, meaning the German has little negotiating power.
For Vettel, the question then becomes whether he is willing to swallow his pride and take the current offer, or if he would prefer to roll the dice, hope he gets to race in 2020 and out-performs his teammate, knowing that if he falls short, the Scuderia could make the decision for him.