Ferrari and Sebastian Vettel are clearly just seeing out the terms of their contract. Any idea of a partnership has been irretrievably lost, as was made crystal clear when Vettel let rip over the radio during Silverstone’s 70th Anniversary Grand Prix – and afterwards when asked about it. After being pitted on the 22nd lap, Vettel was dismayed to find he’d exited behind the much slower cars of Daniil Kvyat and Kimi Räikkönen. “That’s in the gap we didn’t like,” he called in. “We spoke about it this morning. I’ll hang in there but you know you’ve messed up.”
A week earlier on the slow-down lap of the British race Mattia Binotto came onto his drivers’ radios, taking the chance to send a message to the world along the lines of ‘we’re building for a better future’. Charles Leclerc responded enthusiastically, thanked the team, and generally made agreeable noises. From Vettel there was stony silence.
Since being told by Binotto there was no place for him at Ferrari next year, without even a negotiation, Vettel has been obviously angered. He was not going to play along with the story that they’d not been able to reach an agreement. At the first opportunity he told the world the reality, not sparing Ferrari’s blushes and obliging Binotto to have to make an awkward, contorted explanation.