Vettel: New Ferrari contract not the priority

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A new contract is not a priority for Sebastian Vettel or Ferrari with the 2016 Formula One season approaching its climax.

Vettel's deal with the Italian team is set to expire at the end of the 2017 campaign, but the four-time world champion does not anticipate a renewed agreement in the near future.

Ferrari team principal Maurizio Arrivabene sparked intrigue after the Japanese Grand Prix when he suggested the German would have to earn his place.

And Vettel pointed to the need to mount a strong finish to the season and the development of next year's car as the most pressing issues for the team.

"I think we are all fairly busy at this time, focusing on the four races that we have left and to prepare for next year," said Vettel.

"That's where the main focus lies. I don't think it's important to look into details like that [his contract].

"With 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 and team-mate Kimi Raikkonen missed out on a place on the podium with a fourth-place finish last time out at Suzuka the 29-year-old hopes to improve this weekend in Austin.

"In Japan we made some progress, so that was positive," he added. "Nevertheless, I think the most important is that we fight and give everything that we have.

"It could have been better in Japan, but it wasn't, so we are ready for this."