Sebastian Vettel pointed out recently that he has a contract with Ferrari for 2017, thus ruled himself out of the speculation linking him with replacing retiring Nico Rosberg at Mercedes, but German media are reporting that the four times F1 World Champion is on the radar for 2018.
Mercedes chief Toto Wolff told Sport Bild, “[In 2018] there will be some well known drivers out of contract. We have to think about drivers like Vettel.”
While Gerhard Berger, known to be close to the German’s inner circle, said, “Suddenly the pressure is on Ferrari. Vettel will look at exactly how Ferrari is developing and performing before committing beyond 2017.”
“He will certainly have it on the back of his mind that there is an option to drive a Mercedes in 2018. Therefore Ferrari will have to up their game so they do not lose him,” added Berger.
Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne himself is aware that without results the legendary team will battle to attract the services of top drivers, “What happens next, I don’t know, but I think a lot depends on how we manage the 2017 season. If we repeat 2016, I do not think we will have the ability to attract excellent drivers.”
Meanwhile Lewis Hamilton has a contract with Mercedes until the end of 2018 and has made it quite clear that he cares less who his teammate is, “Honestly I really don’t care. Ultimately, it would have to be someone who would work well in the team.”
But warned, “If you can’t stand the heat, don’t come!”