I have suddenly realised something about the situation that I hadn’t done before.
Ferrari senior management – especially their sponsorship people – will want a swansong season of Michael going to each race as it is his last and the ticket sales that will generate and the media attention. Remember Murray’s last season? They have to want something like that.
There’s simply no way that Ferrari would let Michael retire before saying goodbye to the Tifosi in Italy. And the announcement is going to be after the race. That to me says next year for his retirement.