Sebastian Vettel is considering his F1 future after announcing that he will leave Ferrari at the end of the season and McLaren chief Zak Brown reckons the four-time world champion will step aside from the sport.
McLaren star Carlos Sainz will replace Vettel for the 2021 campaign and in turn Daniel Ricciardo will move from Renault to McLaren.
It has been suggested that Vettel could replace Ricciardo at Renault but Brown doubts that the 32-year-old will sign for a team who are not fighting for the Championship.
“It doesn’t look like there’s a Mercedes or Red Bull opportunity for him, there’s not a McLaren opportunity for him, clearly not at Ferrari, so the next best is Renault,” he said.
“And the next question is does Seb want to go with a team that is probably not going to win in 2021?
“It’s a great team and they too should be moving up the grid but I think unless Seb wants to restart a journey with a team that’s back on a journey – then I think he’ll end up probably leaving the sport unfortunately.”
Brown was delighted to be able to capture Ricciardo after missing out on the Australian when he left Red Bull in 2018.
“We went after Daniel a couple of years ago and narrowly missed out,” Brawn added.
“So we’ve been a fan of Daniel’s for some time.
“Obviously he went to Renault [from Red Bull] and we brought in Carlos and Lando [Norris] who have done a fantastic job.
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“But as things turned out we were out of contract with Carlos [for 2021] and he had some opportunities.
“We’re going to miss Carlos, he’s done a fantastic job but now we have a seven-time Grand Prix winner in the car and we couldn’t be more excited.”
Brown continued: “I’ve come to learn in Formula 1 don’t expect anything except for the unexpected.
“We had a sense, we started talking to Carlos in the off-season about his future with us and whether he wanted to drive for McLaren or Ferrari.
“We’ve got a very strong, open relationship with Carlos, his management and his father.
“This didn’t come as a surprise given how quickly we announced Daniel, and how quickly Carlos announced what he was doing. We were very joined up through this entire process.”
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