Ferrari’s announcement that its negotiations with Sebastian Vettel on a new deal have ended has boosted the Formula One driver exchange.
Vettel’s departure from Ferrari speaks above all from the point of view of whether Carlos Sainz will rise as the driver of the young Monaco Charles Leclerc to the Italian stable, but the Mercedes driver’s situation has also become a topic of conversation as a result of the news.
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Four-time world champion Vettel has not announced he will end his career after the season, but will clearly keep the door open for another possible top pest.
In this case, it could be a Mercedes in whose ranks Lewis Hamilton's position is unwavering, but Valtteri Bottas's is not. Bottas continues to drive with Mercedes on a seasonal contract, year after year.
Mercedes team manager Toto Wolff said after Ferrari’s announcement that the team will respect its current contracts, but will keep its eyes and ears open for the future.
- When thinking about the future, we must first keep in mind our current drivers, but of course we also take this news into account when considering the future, Wolff said.
In addition to Bottas, Hamilton's contract with Mercedes will be suspended at the end of the year, but a follow-up contract is expected to be reached amicably between the parties.
Two strong in the same stable?
The Italian sports newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport has also taken a brisk position on whether Mercedes would dare to move Bottas aside at the end of the season and think of Vettel next season alongside Hamilton in a real star pair.
- If Wolff (or Mercedes CEO Ola Kallenius) decides to want two strong players in the same stable, it is entirely possible that Vettel would find himself alongside Hamilton in the success car of recent years, Gazetta wrote and continued:
- Still, one thing to think about: Is there a way to break the very smooth cooperation between Hamilton and Bottas in Stuttgart, especially when you remember what tensions were seen in the stable between the British and Nico Rosberg in the past, Gazzetta wrote.