Amid reports of an existing pre-agreement in place for Sebastian Vettel to leave Ferrari and join Mercedes, at the end of the year, if need be is all rubbish according to Silver Arrows chairman Niki Lauda.
Lauda told ESPN in Spain, “All bullsh!t, if I may say that. I’m sorry, I’m very sorry, but it drives me crazy and I can tell you a reason you’ll understand. [Vettel is a] Ferrari driver, his head is for Ferrari, and the money in the end is also there.”
“Why would Vettel leave Ferrari when he’s winning? There’s no reason. He will stay in his team, he loves his team, everything is right. So there’s no reason to think these things.”
Vettel’s contract with the Maranello outfit is due to run out at the end of this season. Both he and Ferrari team chief Maurizio Arrivabene avoided answering questions about future contracts when pressed by media in Barcelona.
Vettel said during the drivers’ press conference on Thursday, “I think the situation is clear, the main focus is on this year. That’s not a secret, not a line that I drop, but I think all of us inside the team obviously find ourselves in a very good position this year and that’s what we want to keep and us, everything else is not that important.”
“There have been some rumours in previous years, maybe someone from Italy and someone from Germany, maybe in that case, first of all ask the Italians,” added the triple F1 World Champion.
When his Italian boss Arrivabene was asked, the answer was equally cryptic, “We are so concentrated on what we are doing, we are working so hard, all together that the conversation about contracts is not a priority.”
“I tell you the truth. We are working well together, we are feeling very very well together so we want to do our best, to work on the performance of the car and for us the contract is not a priority.”
“The atmosphere is great, why we have to start talking about something that is distracting us? We look each other in the eyes and we understand that we are a team,” added Arrivabene.