BREAKING NEWS: Vettel signs three-year Ferrari extension

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Sebastian Vettel will spend the next three Formula One seasons with Ferrari after agreeing an extension to his contract.

Four-time world champion Vettel's deal was due expire at the end of 2017, but he will remain with the Italian side until 2020 after signing a renewal ahead of this weekend's Belgian Grand Prix.

It was initially thought the German would only agree a short-term extension in order to keep his options open at the end of the next campaign, but Ferrari's ability to challenge Mercedes in the standings this year has seemingly encouraged him to commit for a longer period.

Vettel will race alongside Kimi Raikkonen again in 2018, the Finn having agreed a one-year extension this week.

The 30-year-old possesses a 14-point lead over Lewis Hamilton in the drivers' standings and will be hoping his upgraded Ferrari can help extend that at Spa-Francorchamps.

Ahead of this weekend's race, Raikkonen expressed his hope Vettel would still be his team-mate beyond the current campaign.

He said: "We work very well together as a whole team. It's a good way of working.

"But I'm not the guy who decides. I have no idea what will happen in his case. Hopefully it stays how it is now, that would be perfect."

Vettel was tipped to move to Mercedes as a free agent at the end of the season, but Hamilton said in Belgium that a partnership between the title rivals was unlikely.

"I think it's highly unlikely that he would be here. I don't think he wants to be my team-mate," Hamilton told reporters.

"I'm stating the obvious, but I know he doesn't want to be my team-mate. He wouldn't be in the position he is in now in terms of how the team operates if he was here."

With Vettel locked in at Ferrari, Mercedes are expected to hand an extension to Valtteri Bottas.