Vettel linked with three teams for 2021
"For me it is quite clear it has to be with Mercedes"
Amid speculation he may retire, Sebastian Vettel is already being linked with three potential new teams for 2021.
Prior to Ferrari’s confirmation that he is leaving the Maranello team after this year, rumours were already suggesting Renault or McLaren could be potential alternatives for the quadruple world champion.
"For me it is quite clear that if Vettel continues it has to be with Mercedes," former F1 driver Pedro de la Rosa said.
Fascinatingly, as soon as the Vettel news was made official, Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff described the German as "an asset to any Formula 1 team".
"When looking to the future, our first loyalty lies with the current Mercedes drivers, but naturally we must take this development into consideration," Wolff added.
Pundit Marc Surer told web.de: "From a marketing perspective, that would be the best thing that could happen. If I was Mercedes I would say ’make him an offer immediately’."
But Vettel’s friend Bernie Ecclestone hinted that a move to Renault or McLaren is in fact possible for Vettel.
"Honestly, I would - and I don’t know if he would - go to a team that isn’t a super-top team, and try to work with people to build that team," the former F1 supremo told Bild newspaper.
"I just don’t see many reasons why he should go to Mercedes. He would be an absolute win for a team that is under construction and it would also be good for him to do something completely new, like when he started with Red Bull," Ecclestone added.
Others think retirement is more likely.
"He has been able to sniff normal everyday life at home because of the corona crisis and that maybe he would like to spend more time with the family," former driver Christian Danner told RTL.
"McLaren or Renault would not be a step forward for him. He won’t become world champion again for the time being - certainly not in the next one or two years. And in two years I don’t know if he wants to keep fighting," he added.
Vettel’s old team, Red Bull, has repeatedly ruled out a reunion with the four-time champion.
"Sebastian now wants to rethink everything calmly," Dr Helmut Marko told Auto Bild.
"He will return to racing only if he receives an offer that is interesting from a sports point of view. Unfortunately, we at Red Bull are not ready to do this.
"We already have a potential world champion in Max Verstappen. And there is a driver of our young program, Alex Albon, who is progressing and getting better," Marko added.
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