Ferrari quash talk of early Sebastian Vettel exit, 'no tension' with F1 star
"It's important for us to support him as much as we can. We know Seb is a very talented driver, he's fast, and he's world champion."
By Matt Morlidge
Last Updated: 14/08/20 2:49pm
Ferrari have dismissed any suggestions that Sebastian Vettel could leave the team before the end of the season, with Mattia Binotto insisting there's "no tension" with the German and "no doubts" about his ability.
It was confirmed back in May that Vettel, who had been expecting a new contract, would be replaced by Carlos Sainz at Ferrari next year - and since then the four-time world champion has had a torrid start to F1 2020, scoring just 10 points to team-mate Charles Leclerc's 45.
There has therefore been speculation about whether he would even see out the year with the Scuderia, although Vettel insisted there had been no "consideration or talks" about that prospect.
And when asked about whether an early exit is possible, an adamant Binotto told Sky F1: "That's completely wrong, there are no reasons for it."
He added that Ferrari will continue to support the struggling Vettel.
"He's a talented driver, we know his potential, he said. "There are no tensions with him at all, he is part of the family.
"He is behaving well as I think we are behaving well. We have plenty of respect so we will support him and there's no reason to think even of such a change."
Talk of growing strain on the Vettel-Ferrari relationship increased after Seb's difficult Silverstone fortnight, where he angrily questioned team strategy on radio.
A new chassis for the Spanish GP is Ferrari's latest attempt at easing his performance, and confidence, woes - and Binotto believes Vettel is already more "relaxed".
"Obviously we changed the chassis because he had a small crack, but I don't think the chassis was the problem he got in the last races," said the team principal. "But at least we took out a concern, and now he's certainly more relaxed with that.
"It's important for us to support him as much as we can, we know Seb is a very talented driver, he's fast, he's world champion so there's no doubts there.
"I think what we need to do is support him, to go through a great weekend and to deliver his best."
Vettel matched Charles Leclerc in the opening practice session in Barcelona.
"He has been as fast as Charles which is great at the start of the weekend," Binotto continued. "I'm pretty sure Seb will deliver well at some stage, it's just a matter of him to understand what was wrong and how to improve."