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Vettel must earn new deal: Ferrari boss

Press AssociationPress Association 8/10/2016 Philip Duncan

Ferrari have cast doubt over Sebastian Vettel's future at the Formula One giant beyond 2017, with team principal Maurizio Arrivabene calling on the four-time champion to "earn" his next contract.

Vettel, who will be demoted to seventh for the Japanese Grand Prix after serving a three-place grid penalty for his collision with Nico Rosberg last Sunday, has one year to run on his current deal.

And following a frustrating season for both Ferrari and Vettel, Arrivabene, also under pressure for his team's lacklustre display this year, insisted the German's place cannot be taken for granted.

"Everybody has an objective," Arrivabene told Sky Italia.

"I have, the team has, Sebastian has, everybody has. So it's right everybody has to earn their position and salary.

"Sebastian today has a contract with us. We have work to do this year, and also the next. During the season we will see."

Vettel won three races in his debut campaign with Ferrari in 2015 after he chose to end his title-winning relationship at Red Bull.

But Vettel, 29, has endured a troubled follow-up year.

Strategical mistakes by his team cost him victories in Australia and Canada - leading him to publicly query decisions made by Ferrari during the races in Germany and Azerbaijan - while he has also slipped behind his team-mate Kimi Raikkonen in the championship.

"Sebastian just needs to focus on the car," Arrivabene added.

"He is a person who he gives so much and that sometimes means an interest in a bit of everything. Sometimes you have to re-focus him, remind him to be focused on the main job.

"He does it because he's completely immersed in what people call family but I call the team."

Vettel, who earns in the region of PS25million ($A41 million) a year, was seen talking to his former Red Bull boss Christian Horner in the Suzuka paddock on Saturday.

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