Wolff suggests Mercedes seat unlikely for Vettel
"I assume that we will continue with Lewis and Valtteri"
Toto Wolff has played down Sebastian Vettel’s hopes of switching to the works Mercedes team for 2021.
To be ousted by Ferrari at the end of the year, the quadruple world champion said in Austria that moving to the Wolff-led German team is "an option".
"I don’t know what Mercedes’ plans are, but I’m not in a hurry," said Vettel. "Let’s see what the first races bring."
However, Mercedes team boss Wolff suggests he wants to keep both Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas on board for 2021.
"I assume that we will continue with Lewis and Valtteri," he is quoted by Sky Deutschland.
"I do not want to write Sebastian off, but we are very happy with our drivers," Wolff added.
He said Vettel will become a more serious option "if one of our drivers says he doesn’t feel like continuing".
That is probably a reference to Wolff’s negotiations with Hamilton. Reportedly, the six-time world champion is demanding $50 million per year - with Wolff only willing to offer half that amount for a new deal.
Vettel’s candidature is therefore a convenient bargaining position for Wolff.
"I like Sebastian a lot," Wolff insisted. "He’s my neighbour in Switzerland and one of the great drivers of F1.
"But at the moment our priorities lie with Lewis and Valtteri. We would very much like to extend their contracts."
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