Vettel has failed to end Ferrari’s 12-year Championship drought after joining the Italian team from Red Bull in 2014.
Mercedes have dominated the Drivers and Constructors’ titles and are well on course to add a sixth straight Championship this year.
Ferrari have come under mounting pressure to clinch silverware but four-time world champion Vettel continues to struggle with the battle against Lewis Hamilton, so much so that he is considering retiring at the age of just 31.
That is the rumour that was flying around the paddock at the Monaco Grand Prix at the weekend, according to F1 expert Joe Saward.
“The most shocking rumour that started to spread in the paddock in Monaco is that Sebastian Vettel is considering retiring from F1 at the end of the season at the age of 31,” Saward wrote.
“After winning four World Championships with Red Bull between 2010 and 2013 he tried to bring Ferrari back to success, but he made several mistakes and is now under pressure after the arrival of Charles Leclerc, younger and apparently with more growth margin than German.
“A choice that in some ways would follow that of Nico Rosberg, who left F1 after winning the title in 2016 aware of the fact that he would hardly succeed in the enterprise again.”
But why would Hamilton be bothered about Ferrari losing their star driver?
Well because they are apparently keeping an eye on his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas, who is out of contract at the end of the season, as a potential replacement.
Hamilton is comfortably the star driver at Mercedes with Bottas playing a wingman role.
But if the Finn was to leave, then a younger, hungrier driver, in a Championship-winning car, could cause unrest in the camp.
“The big question, of course, is who would be Vettel’s successor,” Saward added.
“The names that have been circulating for now are those of Sergio Perez, Kevin Magnussen, Romain Grosjean and Valtteri Bottas.”
Hamilton could attempt to equal Michael Schumacher’s record of seven world titles if he is successful over the next two season.
And he would not want any serious rival coming from inside his own team.