Who do you think will replace Vettel at Ferrari in 2021?

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F1 | Who Next For Ferrari?

With Sebastian Vettel confirmed as out at seasons end, who can the Scuderia bring in to replace one of the most successful drivers on the current grid?

Like him or loath him, Sebastian Vettel has enjoyed an incredibly successful career in Formula One since making his full World Championship debut in 2008. Having secured wins for Toro Rosso, Red Bull and Ferrari, including no less than four Formula One World Drivers Championships, the German has little left to prove in the sport he's called home for over a decade.

A dip in form during the 2019 season has somewhat tarnished his reputation, and failing to take home another title in the red of Ferrari will no doubt hurt, but at 32-years-old, Vettel still has much to give the world of Formula One should he decide to continue beyond the current year.

With the second red seat alongside Charles Leclerc now up for grabs, and plenty of talented drivers surely interested in filling it for 2021, who could be the best shout for success at a team so desperate to pick up the some serious silverware for the first time since 2007?

Lewis Hamilton

At 35, Lewis Hamilton is showing no signs of slowing down as he nears the sunset years of his career in Formula One. Having dominated the recent hybrid era of Grand Prix racing with his Mercedes team, Hamilton is likely to be right at the top of any teams wish list should he be available.

Out of contract at the end of the season, would the pull of racing for the famous brand be enough to lure him away from a team that can seemingly do no wrong? If so, can he tempt Mercedes F1 mastermind Toto Wolff to join him and begin another revolution within the ranks of Ferrari?

Daniel Ricciardo

Let us be honest, the move to Renault must be hurting Daniel Ricciardo. At 30 years of age, the ever happy Australian needs to find a competitive ride sooner rather than later, or risk massively under delivering on the raw talent and speed we all know he is capable of delivering.

Often seemingly very happy to be associated with Ferrari rumours, Ricciardo would doubtlessly jump at the chance to drive for the team in 2021, but would Ferrari be willing to pay his large salary, and potential upset the team harmony putting an established name alongside their current favoured son, Charles Leclerc?

Carlos Sainz Jr.

The move to McLaren has reignited Carlos Sainz career in Grand Prix racing. Easily the 'best of the rest' in 2019, Sainz has been putting in eye catching performances on a consistent basis for the Woking outfit. Recovering from a couple of years in the doldrums first at Toro Rosso then Renault, let us not forget that when partnered with Max Verstappen in the early stages of their Formula One careers, Sainz made a very good case for himself with the Red Bull junior team, and can rightfully feel a little disappointed having missed out on promotion to the main team.

Likely to be one of the cheapest options available to Ferrari, and potentially a calming influence within the team, don't bet against the likeable Spaniard surprising a few people when the announcement is made about who replaces Vettel in 2021.

Antonio Giovinazzi

Currently enduring a rather torrid time at Alfa Romeo learning the Formula One ropes, Giovinazzi is a Ferrari young driver, but has done little during his time to suggest he warrants a place within the main squad. Having not shown particularly impressively against an ageing Kimi Raikkonen last year, and having been broadly out performed by Marcus Ericsson when the team ran under the Sauber banner, it will be a tall order indeed for Giovinazzi to prove himself by the time a contract negociation could possibly take place.

Sergio Perez

A bit of an outlier here, Perez was once associated with the Ferrari Young Driver programme before burning those bridges and making his ill fated move to a McLaren team in turmoil. Having since recoved his career in impressive style, Perez has time and again proven himself as a strong and safe pair of hands.

The Mexican driver could well make a very solid backup to Leclerc in the championship battle, and would likely be willing to accept a supporting role should a team like Ferrari come calling.

Fernando Alonso

Having been out of the sport since the close of the 2018 season, Alonso refuses to confirm he has completely given up on Formula One racing, stating numerous times in the media that the upcoming (and now delayed) regulation changes may spark back up his interest in the sport.

Widely acknowledged as one of the best drivers of his generation, at 38 Alonso is very much in the final years of a viable career in Formula One, and having been out of the cockpit for what will be two years, may well have seen his time pass for a return to the front of the grid.

Who do you think is most likely to fill the seat left by Vettel next season? Let us know in the poll and comments section below!

Want to learn more about F1 racing? Start up a thread in the F1 sub forum here at RaceDepartment, and get interacting with your fellow motorsport fans!

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RaceDepartment Editor-in-Chief, occasional YouTuber, commentator and broadcaster, with a passion for motorsport on both the real and virtual racetrack.


Sep 28, 2009
From that list I think we can probably immediately discount at least two of those options, possibly three. (Where did Perez from from?)

Of the remaining three I think Giovinazzi is an outside chance, but having two very "new" drivers in the team may not be the best choice.

Ricciardo has both the talent and experience, but would likely also want a minimum of equal driver status within the team. Perhaps this could work, but lots of past experience across the paddock has shown that having two fast drivers with big personalities in the same team can cause major issues. Merc and Red Bull both have clear 1st/2nd driver setups (even if only privately) and are relatively harmonious. Ferrari did too, before LeClerc joined the team. It seems to work far better when you're pushing for a championship.

So that leaves Sainz. He's never had the fastest car under him but appears to a very solid driver with good potential. He's young but with decent experience behind him. He's fairly quietly spoken and hasn't been in a position for his ego to inflate yet, meaning he may well be happy to join a big team as a second driver... at least in private, even if equal status is claimed in public. That could set Ferrari up with a strong, young team with one driver supporting the other.

So for me, Sainz makes the most sense.
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Jul 30, 2019
Well If i was Ferrari I'd go for Sainz as first option, he's fast and consistent but not "too fast", he doesn't seem to have a huge diva ego, and he'd be cheap since it would also be an upgrade for him. It would be a good option to pair with Charles as his second to try to minimize internal conflicts.

Ric would be amazing to have with his style and personality but I don't think he'll want to be wingman again and after some of the Seb/Charles clashes in the last season I'd avoid that as a team.

Edit: Alonso can be ruled out, the ammount of cash he's making being one of the official Toyota drivers is obscene, no way Ferrari is going to match that, I don't see any chance of him returning to F1 unless Toyota decides to get into the circus either as a full team or engine supplier.
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Dec 18, 2018
Whoever is the cheapest. With the complete meltdown of global economies, there won't be a lot of cash to just throw around for a while. The days of the ridiculous salaries in all sports is about to become a thing of the past. Yes, they will make more money than the average person, but the average person won't have much either. The drivers better start thinking job about security like everyone else.
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Jan 12, 2018
Daniel Ric for sure. Ferrari needs a true n°1. Ricciardo is currently the only driver on the grid capable of winning consistently with Ferrari.

Leclerc and Max had their chance already and they did not beat their team mates under fair conditions.

If Ferrari wants to win a title, they will need to sign Ricciardo as their 1st driver.
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Feb 2, 2010
Daniel Ric for sure. Ferrari needs a true n°1. Ricciardo is currently the only driver on the grid capable of winning consistently with Ferrari.

Leclerc and Max had their chance already and they did not beat their team mates under fair conditions.

If Ferrari wants to win a title, they will need to sign Ricciardo as their 1st driver.
It would be amazing to see Dan Ricciardo back in a top tier car. Unfortunately he won't get the seat, that seat will go to the younger and more importantly cheaper, Carlos Sainz. And as stated on the local West Aussie news he would also be happy to drive as number two behind Charles LeClere, where as Daniel wouldn't accept that type of deal.