Sebastian Vettel will leave Ferrari at the end of the 2020 F1 season and that has led to much discussion as to where his next destination could be. The German has been linked with Mercedes if he chooses to hold off on retiring from the sport.
There are not many spaces on the F1 grid but Valtteri Bottas has not signed a contract at the team for next year yet.
Neither has Lewis Hamilton but the Brit is almost certain to agree to new terms at the current world champions.
F1 journalist Giuliano Duchessa now claims Vettel is wanted at Mercedes by their parent company.
“The Daimler Board is pushing hard to put Vettel under a 2021 contract,” Duchessa claimed on Twitter.
But Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has admitted he would prefer to back youth though with the likes of Williams driver George Russell part of their programme.
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“Sebastian is a great driver, with a great personality and an asset to any Formula 1 team,” said Wolff.
“With a view to the future, we are primarily committed to loyalty to our current Mercedes drivers, but of course we cannot ignore this development.”
Vettel is one of the best drivers in the history of the sport and is a four-time world champion.
However, last season he was beaten by Charles Leclerc at Ferrari which has led to the Prancing Horse looking to the future.
Carlos Sainz has agreed to join from McLaren, whole Daniel Riccardo will say goodbye to Renault and replace the Spaniard.
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That leaves a vacancy at the French team but Fernando Alonso has been heavily linked with an F1 return and that particular seat.
That could leave Vettel looking at a seat at Mercedes or retirement from F1 unless he is satisfied with racing for a smaller team.
German motor racing legend Hans-Joachim Stuck thinks Vettel will retire at the end of the year if he is not offered a seat to drive alongside Hamilton at Mercedes.
He told Servus TV: “Ultimately, only [Vettel] knows whether and how things will go on.
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“But he will not sit in a second-class car – he certainly doesn’t need that. Then again there are not so many options.
“Changing to Mercedes? Nobody knows what’s going on there.
“I can imagine that Vettel has really enjoyed this break at home with his family. He’s not a character like Alonso who does absolutely everything.
“If Vettel doesn’t see a good alternative, then I consider the chance that he will stop to be relatively high. That would be an absolute disaster.”
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