Toto Wolff says Sebastian Vettel going to Mercedes is just one of the options the team is considering, but their focus is on their “current drivers first”.
Ever since Ferrari announced that four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel would not be continuing with the team in 2021, the F1 media has been filled with Vettel to Mercedes talk. Toto Wolff admits the prospect of a German driver in a German car is interesting to Mercedes.
“Of course a German driver in a German car is a good marketing story,” said the Austrian.
“At Mercedes, however, we are purely focused on success, but Sebastian is of course someone who is really good.”
Wolff went on to clarify this was just one of the many considered possibilities and Mercedes has a lot of options even in-house, namely the team’s junior driver George Russell.
“That’s why we’re asking ourselves what we’re going to do with George Russell, and the Vettel option is of course also on the table.
“But that’s not first on the agenda at the moment, because we want to concentrate on our current drivers first.”
However Mercedes doesn’t want to put themselves in a position where they announce a 2021 driver lineup change before the current season even starts (like Ferrari, McLaren and Renault did).
“We’re certainly not putting ourselves in that position. It’s a bit difficult to manage when you’re driving one year with a driver who will be in a rival team next year.
“What do you do with innovation and learning when you know that a driver can use that against you next year?
“That’s why all the teams that have announced this hastily are in a difficult situation that we don’t want to get into.”
In the end, Wolff says he is not worried about Sebastian Vettel’s future in Formula 1.
“Sebastian is pulling all the strings. He can decide for himself whether he wants to quit or join another team.
“There are still some interesting places to go,” concluded the Austrian.