Ferrari’s choices in its seek to interchange Vettel

With Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari parting ways at the end of 2020, the coveted seat at the Italian team is up for grabs. The Hindu looks at possible contenders to partner Charles Leclerc in 2021.

Lewis Hamilton: The most exciting option but also the least likely to happen.

There were a few clouds of smoke towards the end of last year when it was reported that the six-time champion and Ferrari chairman John Elkam had had a meeting.

Ferrari will offer the Briton, who has dominated with Mercedes, a new challenge and perhaps an even bigger paycheque before he calls time on his career.

Carlos Sainz Jr.: Widely believed to be one of the top contenders.

The former Red Bull academy driver joined McLaren in 2019, producing some stellar drives and finishing sixth in the championship.

The Spaniard can execute strong drives and his stock has hit an all-time high despite not having won a race yet.

Daniel Ricciardo: The Australian with Italian roots has long desired to race for Ferrari but had to settle for Renault when he decided to leave Red Bull after 2018.

Extremely quick in qualifying, Ricciardo is one of the best at pulling off moves on the track. But whether Ferrari has the desire to handle two alpha-males remains to be seen. And he is not going to come cheap either.

Valtteri Bottas: The Finn could be a left-field choice for his no-nonsense approach. He has shown at Mercedes that he is as fast as Hamilton, but has struggled with tyre management and season-long consistency.

He could be the perfect No. 2 to Leclerc, capable of winning races and helping Ferrari in the constructors’ championship without upsetting team harmony.

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