Formula One: Sebastian Vettel denies rift with Ferrari chief

Sebastian Vettel's last podium came at Baku in June. Since then he has been outscored by Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen by 79 points to 57.
Sebastian Vettel's last podium came at Baku in June. Since then he has been outscored by Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen by 79 points to 57. PHOTO: AFP

Suzuka, Japan (AFP) - Sebastian Vettel insisted on Saturday that there was no bad blood between him and Ferrari boss Maurizio Arrivabene after the Italian called on him to fight for his place beyond next year.

Vettel's form has dipped this season after winning three races last year, his first season with the storied Formula One team after joining from Red Bull.

But the German shrugged off remarks made by Arrivabene before qualifying at the Japanese Grand Prix.

"I know there is nothing between us, nothing we need to sort out," Vettel, who captured four straight world titles with Red Bull from 2010 to 2013, told reporters.

"If there is something I don't like, I tell him and equally the other way around. We generally enjoy a very straightforward and honest relationship.

"Both of our focus is on trying to achieve the same thing. We're trying to win races and get stronger, especially in the future and that is where the main focus goes."

Vettel's last podium came at Baku in June. Since then he has been outscored by Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen by 79 points to 57.

Arrivabene told Italian media: "Sebastian has a contract (until the end of next year). Then we'll see. Each of us has goals so it is only right that anyone, no matter who it is, earns their place and their salary."