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Wolff opens up on the possibility of signing Vettel

  • Published on 04 Jun 2020 09:07
  • comments 6
  • By: Coilin Higgins

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has opened up on the possibility of signing Sebastian Vettel in 2021, saying that recent comments about him are more than just 'lip service'.

Vettel had been linked with the team to partner Lewis Hamilton after Ferrari announced he would be leaving at the end of the year, but Wolff insists that such a move is something the team owes to a four-time champion such as Vettel.


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Wolff also said that while the move is only a rumour for the moment, more bizarre things have happened to the team in the past, such as Nico Rosberg's shock retirement from F1 after clinching the world championship in 2016.

"First of all, it's not lip service. I think we owe it to a four-time world champion not to come out and say straight away 'No.' You need to think about it," Wolff told Autosport.

"On the other side we have a fantastic line-up, and I'm happy with both our pilots and George. But you never know. One of them may decide that he doesn't want to go racing any more, and suddenly you have a vacant spot.

"And this is why I don't want to come out in June and say, 'No chance, Sebastian is not racing for us.' First of all, I wouldn't do to him as a driver, to be that blunt, and on the other side, I've seen black swans appearing when nobody expected.

"Remember Nico Rosberg. In that respect, we're just keeping our options open, but of course, concentrating our discussions with our current drivers."

No further discussion with Hamilton over contract extension

Wolff also confirmed that there have not yet been any further talks with Lewis Hamilton over a possible contract extension for 2021 or beyond.

Hamilton, who joined the Mercedes team in 2013, where he has gone on to win five of his six world titles. finds himself out of contract alongside teammate Valtteri Bottas at the end of the year.

Despite being in contract with the reigning champion, Wolff has said that there has not yet been any further discussion on the matter but hopes talks can resume after racing gets underway in Austria on July 5.

"We didn't see each other lockdown, but we were in regular contact. But we didn't work on any agreement. Between us there is a lot of trust," Wolff added.

"We have been together for a long time, and never in these years together we had to take the contract out and actually read what was written in there because it comes so naturally.

"And therefore once racing resumes we're going to spend some time together, dig the contract out of the cupboard, look at the timings and the numbers and the rights and hopefully have something pretty soon."

Replies (6)

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  • I just don't see this happening as long as Hammy is around, but I really love it. It could be just what F1 needs right now. And no, I don't actually think Hammy would steamroll Vettel as bad as some think, provided he is comfortable with the car (which actually could be easier thanks to the Uchiha Mercedes new DAS no jutsu).

    • + 0
    • Jun 4 2020 - 17:55
    • Agree. That would be the perfect match and the perfect competition.

      • + 0
      • Jun 5 2020 - 08:40
  • JuJuHound

    Posts: 308

    Yeah, everybody would like to see that except Mercedes, Toto since they had a cold war with Nicko/Lewis and I'm sure it won't happened soon

    • + 0
    • Jun 5 2020 - 11:12
    • Oh, come on... You can't compare Seb with Nico. Nico wanted his first championship, Seb has already four. Nico had to prove that he was able to be a champion like his father before him. Seb has to prove nothing -he just wants a reliable car and a tight team. Nico and Lewis were friends since their childhood and who knows how many inhibitions and frustrations might have felt for each other. Of course we would have a real clash between Lewis and Seb. A clash of titans, though. I think Nico was not a good guy... So much frustration in his eyes...

      • + 0
      • Jun 5 2020 - 14:02
    • Nico was in fact pretty welliked in the paddock, so I don't agree with the latter. For all we know, they might both be nice fellas but with horrible personal chemistry combined with hunger for glory.

      • + 1
      • Jun 5 2020 - 22:13
    • Nico worked his ass off for that title. Sometimes to get to that level you have to be not so nice. I think he is a pretty nice guy and well liked and that was probably the hardest part of that season for him, to play the hard guy. I've watched some of his videos and he seems pretty cool to me, maybe a bit arrogant, but show me an F1 driver who isn't a bit arrogant. I suspect being a nice guy might even have had a lot to do with why he resigned, because being that hard guy who will do whatever it takes is not natural for him. I think Bottas probably has the same problem, he's a nice guy and it's hard for him to do whatever it takes to beat Hamilton. He's shown he can beat Ham, but he just doesn't seem to be able to get his car and rhythm right every race weekend like Ham does, with just a few exceptions.

      • + 1
      • Jun 6 2020 - 23:03

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