Ecclestone 'would not put money' on Vettel staying in F1 post-2020

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Bernie Ecclestone admits he "would not put money" on Sebastian Vettel staying in Formula 1 after next year.

Questions over the future of the four-time world champion began to be raised as early as May with speculation he was considering retirement with just one year left on his contract at Ferrari.

Vettel then began voicing his discontent at the state of F1 following a controversial loss due to penalty in Canada and the former F1 chief doesn't think the German appears as motivated as he once was.

"I haven't seen him lately doing whatever he can to win," Ecclestone told Germany's Sport Bild. "So I would not put my money on it [Vettel staying after next year], but he will make the right decision."

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A major contributing factor to the uncertainty is the arrival of Charles Leclerc, who threatened Vettel's superiority at Ferrari this year.

Initially, many thought it would be the apprentice learning from the master before becoming the long-term leader at Maranello, but team boss Mattia Binotto revealed it was actually the other way around.

“Sebastian lacked confidence in his car [early in the year]. It was unstable in the rear, especially when braking,” he told Auto Motor und Sport.

“If you lack confidence, you can not drive at the limit but the more downforce we found, the more that confidence returned to Sebastian.

“His lap times got better and Charles was a good benchmark for him that also pushed him further.

“What I liked about Sebastian was that he stayed calm, worked his way through the issue and understood what he had to do to improve himself and the car.”

And looking ahead to next year, Vettel is still expected to challenge as hard as he can.

According to SportsBettingDime, as disappointing as his 2019 season was, with just a single win and a fifth-place finish in the standings, his time with Ferrari is not an end.

He remains under contract for 2020, he is motivated to improve, and he is being paid too much (north of $40 million USD) for the team to drop him. The rise of Charles Leclerc will make Vettel an overpriced No.2 next season, but he'll remain in red.