Italian sources report that Ferrari is preparing to confirm Vettel alongside Kimi Raikkonen for 2018 at Monza next month, with president Sergio Marchionne admitting a deal “may be close”.
Last month France’s Auto Hebdo reported that Vettel has been offered a new three-year Ferrari contract, valued at a total of EUR 120 million.
Auto Hebdo said Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne has agreed to a EUR 5 million extension for the Finn, although Raikkonen is yet to accept or reject it.
“I think the situation in the drivers market depends on Sebastian Vettel,” said Red Bull chief Christian Horner. “But what is clear is that there will be no change at Red Bull Racing.”
But Finland’s Ilta Sanomat newspaper now cites sources in saying Ferrari and Vettel are in fact not in agreement over the duration of a new deal, with the German pushing for a mere one-year contract in order to leave his options open for 2019.
“It’s true that I haven’t got a contract yet,” Vettel admitted, “but I think the primary objective at the moment is not worrying about papers but making sure we get good results.”
Another rumour is that Vettel signed a pre-agreement with Mercedes prior to the 2018 season, whereby the 30-year-old would not agree a post-2017 deal until after July.
Vettel said: “As I’ve said, I’m not in a rush, I don’t think the team (Ferrari) is in a rush, and as far as I understand I think I have a good contact with the team and they would tell me otherwise.
“So as I’ve said there’s no problem — nothing wrong.”