Sebastian Vettel has hit back at rumours connecting him to the vacancy at Mercedes by evidencing his current contract with Ferrari.
The four-time World Champion would be quite the catch for Mercedes, but Toto Wolff has announced that attracting an established name that is already embedded into their big rivals is a tactic the team aren’t pursuing. He has said that a stable driver that can play second fiddle to Lewis Hamilton or a driver affiliated with their academy would be preferential.
Sebastian Vettel’s response to the speculation also suggests that he isn’t interested.
“I think it’s not a big secret that both myself and Kimi [Raikkonen] both have a contract for next year – so it should be clear.
I don’t know what’s their plan but for us we look after ourselves for next year, there’s a lot of things changing so we’re quite busy ourselves. Obviously, for us, we’re very positive for next year.
I think the team is getting stronger, that is what we’ve felt in the last couple of months at the track and in the factory. We should be able to come out with a better package.”
– Sebastian Vettel
It is no secret that Vettel is trying to build Ferrari around himself and that he has done a great deal of donkey work this season in terms of gathering data for 2017.
Ferrari endured another season below-par against their own high standards, and it’s unlikely that the team would be willing to offer up either Vettel or Raikkonen to one of their biggest competitors, especially given the higher chance of catching Mercedes in the new aero-era that is set to take off in 2017.
Vettel did however wish Nico Rosberg the best for his future and understood his decision to leave at the top of his game.
“I think everybody is free to do what he or she wants. I respect his decision. I’m sure he’ll take time off before he goes on to do something else. Happy holiday!”
– Sebastian Vettel