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Wolff: Vettel not on top of Mercedes' 2021 wish list

  • Published on 17 May 2020 14:03
  • comments 4
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff says Sebastian Vettel is not on the top of the team's wish list when deciding its future driver line-up.

Vettel's future in the sport remains in the air after Ferrari announced earlier this week that it would be parting ways with the German at the end of the 2020 season.

Vettel was linked with a move to McLaren, however just two days after Ferrari's declaration, McLaren confirmed that Daniel Ricciardo will join the team in 2021, while Carlos Sainz takes Vettel's spot at Ferrari.

MOREMcLaren affirms Vettel was never an option for 2021 | Brown assures no harsh feelings with Sainz over McLaren departure

More rumours have suggested that Vettel could partner fellow multi-world champion Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes, who have dominated F1 since the turbo-hybrid era began in 2014.

However, Wolff says that the team's focus right now going forward is the future of George Russell, Mercedes' junior driver who made his F1 debut last year with Williams.

"For us, the question is what to do about George Russell,” Wolff told ORF. “That's one option. Then there is also the Sebastian Vettel option. But that is not first on our agenda, because we have to concentrate on our own driver programme.”

Russell spent his first season in F1 at the back of the field as Williams struggled to keep up with its rivals throughout the year.

Both Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas are out of contract at the end of the 2020 campaign, which will be their fourth year in partnership together.

Wolff believes that Vettel is “pulling all the strings” as he can decide whether or not he stays or remains in F1 with another team.

"Sebastian is pulling all the strings," Wolff said. "He can decide for himself whether he wants to quit or join another team. There are still some interesting places."

Replies (4)

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  • Not a total rejection of possibility he could end up at Merc.......... imo would be less fractious that Alonso driving there but far from a conducive atmosphere

    • + 0
    • May 17 2020 - 17:04
    • I disagree. Seb actually has a history of on track incidents with rivals (both teammates and other teams).

      Hamilton and Alonso had a political battle made possible by the colossal mismanagement of Ron Dennis. On track... Alonso and Lewis fought hard in 2007 and throughout 2013. Never once did they have an incident. There is tremendous respect there for each other's abilities.

      That being said, I unfortunately don't ever see Mercedes hiring Alonso. Even though it would be (in my humble opinion) the greatest pairing in the history of the sport perhaps only rivaled by Prost/Senna.

      • + 0
      • May 17 2020 - 20:57
  • Hohohohoho......

    Maybe Lewis getting a sabbatical?....

    • + 0
    • May 17 2020 - 19:42
  • Seb should have taken the one year deal with Ferrari and get his act together and climb back into the wish list of the teams. Plus, any additional money is better than retirement in early 30s. He might regret the lost revenue down the road while swinging in his armchair.

    • + 0
    • May 17 2020 - 21:40

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