Mercedes at war over teaming Sebastian Vettel with Lewis Hamilton for 2021 F1 season

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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  • Mercedes could sign Sebastian Vettel as Lewis Hamilton team-mate

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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Sebastian Vettel opens up on retirement plans with current Ferrari contract ending soon

The current F1 season is currently on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic and the free time has given Sebastian Vettel food for thought on what he would do when he leaves the sport. The 2020 season has been suspended until further notice with the first eight races of the campaign being either postponed or cancelled.

Currently, the Canadian Grand Prix is scheduled to be the first race in June but discussions are ongoing whether it will take place.

Former F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone has suggested the season should be called off altogether but some reports have suggested the 2020 campaign could be extended to roll over into 2021.

For the time being though, drivers have been making the most of their down time.

For some though there are plenty of question marks on which team they could be driving for next year with several of them out of contract at the end of the season.

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Vettel, who has spent the past five years with Ferrari, is one of those drivers and he has reportedly been offered a one-year extension by Ferrari, although it is claimed that deal includes a big pay cut.

But the 32-year-old is already thinking about life after Formula One, stating he will continue racing in some form.

“If I’m realistic, I’m not going to be here in ten years,” he told Motorsport.com.

“So I think this is something you naturally start to think about.

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“I think I’m in a very fortunate position that I can probably try and do a lot of things, once I have decided to stop racing in F1.

“Maybe race something else, maybe do something different in motorsport or do something completely different outside.

“I have some ideas, but I haven’t decided. I’m quite relaxed.”

He added: “If money is your motivator then it can drive you very far, and make you very successful,” he added.

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“There’s a lot of sportsmen, businessmen that thrive for money. I think the question really is whether people have a sense of enough. That’s not just valid for Formula 1.

“We are putting our life in a way also on the line, then you need to show some appreciation for that.

“Our careers also are shorter than some other careers.

“I think the really important thing is that you are happy, that’s the key.

“Obviously, F1 is a bit of a circus and spoiled circus because they have a lot of money involved and money tends to spoil people. I think on average that’s true.

“But the question is, like I said, if you have a sense of enough.”

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