Vettel again plays down retirement rumors

Sebastian Vettel in Austria Friday
Sebastian Vettel in Austria Friday

(GMM) Sebastian Vettel has moved to play down rumors linking him with retirement.

After Canada, where he lost victory with a controversial time penalty, the German declared: "This is not the sport I fell in love with."

With pressure from Charles Leclerc and amid Ferrari's lack of competitiveness, it prompted suggestions the 31-year-old is preparing to quit.

But Vettel said in Austria: "I'm in Formula 1 because I love to race.

"These modern cars are very fast and fun to drive," German media quotes him as saying. "Are there things we can do better? I think yes.

"But I am driving now and, as far as I know, I will drive next year."

One suggestion is that Vettel's title chances might get a boost if a push to revert to Pirelli's 2018 tires is successful.

"We will find out tomorrow morning," he said, referring to the key meeting with Pirelli that has been called for Friday.

"It's fair to say that we are having more problems with the tires than Mercedes is."

But also true is that Ferrari is struggling to develop its car, with Vettel calling some of the new parts introduced in France a week ago a "failure".

"It's not necessary to deny that we didn't get what we hoped for in France," he said.

"I hope that the picture will become clearer this weekend and we are able to move on."

Until then, he is not writing off the title.

"I don't look back, only forwards. We just hope that our upgrades will work. Then we'll see," said Vettel.

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