Sebastian Vettel may now have decided to take a sabbatical in 2021, according to his countryman and former F1 driver Ralf Schumacher.
Schumacher notes that after all the hype about a potential Aston Martin seat for the quadruple world champion, it has suddenly become "very, very quiet around him".
Indeed, Sergio Perez has at the same time been sounding increasingly confident of remaining at the Silverstone based team for 2021.
It means the situation for Vettel is suddenly unclear.
"As far as he is concerned, it's just a matter of being ahead of his teammate in the last races and then going home and thinking about whether he wants to go any further," Schumacher told Sky Deutschland when asked about Vettel.
"At the moment it has become very, very quiet around him. It may well be that he has now decided to take a year off."
It would be a bitter end for Vettel, having arrived at Ferrari in 2014 with such high hopes, and then leaving the Maranello team amid its deep slump.
"I don't regret going to Ferrari," the German told La Gazzetta dello Sport.
"I may not have been able to win another title, but I fully support my choice at the time. We've had good and bad times, but I've mostly just lived in the moment.
"In the end, everything comes to an end and that's it. I'm already working on my new goals," Vettel added.
He has been linked with certain projects outside of Formula 1, but Vettel in fact seems more likely to secure a competitive F1 seat for 2021 or simply call it a day.
"I can stop and sit on the couch at home, but I still think Formula 1 is really cool," he said.
"What I know is that I would only choose a team that has ambitions to achieve big goals."
Vettel's final act may turn out to be a horror last series of races for crisis-struck Ferrari.
"A lot of people have tried to help me over the past few years," he admitted. "I think it's just a show of respect to try to do the same in return."