Former Ferrari driver Jean Alesi has tipped Sebastian Vettel to sign a Ferrari contract in the coming weeks. The German's deal with the Scuderia outfit expires at the end of the year, but it is widely expected he will remain on with F1's most successful team.
Earlier this week, Ferrari confirmed that it had retained Kimi Raikkonen for the 2017 season. It has been suggested that Vettel himself requested a stay for Raikkonen in a role as a number two driver. Raikkonen remains on a one-year rolling deal, as he has done for the last number of years.
Alesi doesn't think it will be long before Ferrari announce Vettel for next year: "He is very much a loved Ferrari driver. We are talking about a guy who really loves driving and is a real point of reference for the whole environment at Ferrari," the 53-year-old said.
"Ferrari made giant strides this year and now has a winning car on almost every circuit. And then there is the team spirit that is the great work of Maurizio Arrivabene and Sergio Marchionne. The decision to keep Kimi consolidates this atmosphere, as neither Vettel nor Kimi is jealous of the other," Alesi added.
"I think Vettel will renew as well," he said. "A house is built upon its foundation, but I also think it's true that if there is a driver other than Seb at Ferrari in 2018, he will also have no problems with Kimi."
It is unknown how long the contract will last for, with the Maranello squad supposedly proposing a new three-year deal. However, some sources have reported that Vettel is only interested in a one-year deal to keep his options for 2019 wide open.
Circuit de Catalunya - Winter testing
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing
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