Sebastian Vettel: ‘No common desire’ with Ferrari to remain together

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MARANELLO, Italy — Four-time Formula One champion Sebastian Vettel is leaving Ferrari at the end of the year by mutual consent.

“In order to get the best possible results in this sport, it’s vital for all parties to work in perfect harmony,” Vettel said Tuesday. “The team and I have realized that there is no longer a common desire to stay together beyond the end of this season.”

Vettel’s existing contract earns him $40 million per year.

“Financial matters have played no part in this joint decision,” Vettel, 32, said. “That’s not the way I think when it comes to making certain choices and it never will be.”

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The German driver joined Ferrari in 2015 to replace Fernando Alonso but was unable to add to the four consecutive world championships that he won at Red Bull Racing from 2010-13.

The F1 season was suspended in March because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, three days before the first scheduled race in Australia.

Of Vettel’s 53 career wins, only 14 came with Ferrari, including only one last year.

Vettel led the championship at the halfway stage in 2017 and 2018, but a series of clumsy mistakes – including one from pole position and another while comfortably leading the race – proved costly.

Vettel was also not helped by erratic and sometimes conflicting team orders, though by the same token his win last year at Singapore was because orders went in his favor over Charles Leclerc.

The speedy rise to ascension of Leclerc at Ferrari proved difficult to handle for Vettel last year. Despite being in his debut season with Ferrari, and only his second in F1, Leclerc won more races than Vettel and even beat six-time world champion Lewis Hamilton in pole positions (seven to Hamilton’s five).

It led to tension within Ferrari, which reached a breaking point in November when the drivers crashed into each other at the Brazilian GP.

Leclerc made a clean overtaking move on Vettel down the inside, and Vettel tried to reclaim his position by moving on the outside of Leclerc’s car. They touched wheels and both cars went out of the race. This prompted an angry reaction from Ferrari management, especially as they were contesting only fourth place in the race.

Vettel finished a dismal fifth overall in the championship race, beaten by Leclerc and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, who finished third behind the Mercedes pair of Valtteri Bottas and Hamilton.

Leclerc, just as quick and 10 years younger than Vettel, was clearly seen as the Italian manufacturer’s future. He signed a new deal until the end of 2024 while Vettel’s was still on hold.

Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto gave his backing to Vettel last month, when saying “we appreciate him so much.”

But negotiations stalled in recent weeks.

“It was not an easy decision to reach, given Sebastian’s worth as a driver and as a person,” Binotto said. “There was no specific reason that led to this decision, apart from the common and amicable belief that the time had come to go our separate ways in order to reach our respective objectives.”

IndyCar releases schedule for 2023 season

IndyCar schedule 2023
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The NTT IndyCar Series’ 2023 schedule will feature the same number of races and tracks as this season with some minor reshuffling of dates.

IndyCar will open the 2023 season March 5 on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida, and will conclude Sept. 10 at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, California. The 107th Indy 500 will take place May 28 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The 17-race schedule will conclude with a stretch of eight races in the final nine weeks.

“The NTT IndyCar Series is on an impactful upward trajectory, making progress at a pace that befits our thrilling style of competition,” Penske Entertainment Corp. president and CEO Mark Miles said in a release. “The 2023 season provides an opportunity to further build on this trend, bringing our sport and its stars to more markets and households and reaching new consumers across the globe.”

There will be 15 events on NBC: 13 races (including six of the final seven) plus Indy 500 qualifying May 20-21. There also are three races on USA Network and the Toronto race exclusively on Peacock. All races on NBC and USA also will have live simulstreams on Peacock.

In partnership with NBC Sports, the 2022 IndyCar season was the most-watched in six years and the most-watched across NBC Sports on record. The 2022 season also was the most streamed season on record.

“We’re very excited for our 2023 NTT IndyCar Series schedule and to build on this past season’s viewership milestones,” NBC Sports vice president of programming Mike Perman said in a release. “In providing comprehensive coverage across NBC, Peacock and USA Network, NBC Sports is once again looking forward to telling the stories of these world-class drivers and this compelling series.”

Notable elements on the 2023 schedule:

–There will be the same balance of seven road course races, five street courses and five ovals.

–St. Pete will be the season opener for the 13th time.

–The Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix will move from Belle Isle to the streets of downtown.

–The NASCAR doubleheader weekend at the IMS road course will shift to mid-August.

–The World Wide Technology Raceway event will move from Saturday to Sunday.

Start times for the 2023 events will be announced at a later date.

Here’s the 2023 IndyCar schedule:


Date Race/Track Network/Platform
Sun., March 5 Streets of St. Petersburg NBC, Peacock
Sun., April 2 Texas Motor Speedway NBC, Peacock
Sun., April 16 Streets of Long Beach NBC, Peacock
Sun., April 30 Barber Motorsports Park NBC, Peacock
Sat., May 13 Indianapolis Motor Speedway (Road Course) NBC, Peacock
Sun., May 28 The 107th Indianapolis 500 NBC, Peacock
Sun., June 4 Streets of Detroit NBC, Peacock
Sun., June 18 Road America USA Network, Peacock
Sun., July 2 Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course USA Network, Peacock
Sun., July 16 Streets of Toronto Peacock
Sat., July 22 Iowa Speedway – Race 1 NBC, Peacock
Sun., July 23 Iowa Speedway – Race 2 NBC, Peacock
Sun., Aug. 6 Streets of Nashville NBC, Peacock
Sat., Aug. 12 Indianapolis Motor Speedway (Road Course) USA Network, Peacock
Sun., Aug. 27 World Wide Technology Raceway NBC, Peacock
Sun., Sept. 3 Portland International Raceway NBC, Peacock
Sun., Sept. 10 WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca NBC, Peacock

*dates and networks/platforms are subject to change