Formula One: Vettel dodges talk of Ferrari future

German Formula One driver Sebastian Vettel during the joint press conference at the Circuit of the Americas, in Austin, Texas on Oct 20, 2016.
German Formula One driver Sebastian Vettel during the joint press conference at the Circuit of the Americas, in Austin, Texas on Oct 20, 2016. PHOTO: EPA

(AFP) - Under-pressure Sebastian Vettel dodged talk about his prospects of a new contract at Ferrari when he faced the media on Thursday (Oct 20).

Speaking to reporters at the United States Grand Prix, the four-time world champion said he was instead focusing on the final four races of this season - and developments for next year.

"We are all fairly busy at the moment, focusing on the last four races and focusing in particular on next year," he said.

"I don't think it's that important to look into details such as my contract. It's fine for next year.

"There are a lot of things happening back in the factory, I know we are very busy and that's where I want the focus to be."

Vettel spoke amid mounting speculation over his future following a public warning from Ferrari team chief Maurizio Arrivabene that he is not guaranteed a new deal after next year.

"Sebastian has a contract with us. We work together this year and next year. Then during next year we'll see," he told Sky Sports Italia.

"Each of us has goals. So it is only right that anyone, no matter who it is, earns their place and their salary."

Vettel joined Ferrari last year and delivered victories and promise, but this season he remains winless and has slipped to sixth in the drivers' championship.