With Kimi Raikkonen confirmed for 2018, all eyes are on Ferrari’s contract negotiations with Sebastian Vettel for next year and beyond. The conventional wisdom is that they will get this done but there are rumors of a possible move to Mercedes.
For Lewis Hamilton, that doesn’t seem like a logical choice for Vettel:
“I think it’s highly unlikely that he will be here,” he said.
“I don’t think he wants to be my team-mate.
“I’m always game to race whoever it is, and racing against the best drivers is always a great thing.”
That’s nice of Lewis to pay the compliment but there is the recent comments from Mercedes boss Toto Wolff discussing Plan B’s over at Merc regarding their drive lineup. This is contextually positioned as a prevent method in the case of another Nico Rosberg event that left the team off guard and without a driver.
Mercedes did secure Valtteri Bottas and it is expected they will extend his contract but is Wolff hinting at a possible change? Most likely not but anything can happen in F1 and while he does discuss the driver shakeup in 2018 and 2019, is there a possibility?
“Stating the obvious. I know he doesn’t want to be my team-mate.
“He wouldn’t be in the position he’s in now, in his team, in terms of how the team operates, if he was here.”, said Hamilton.
Lewis is suggesting a position as number one driver at the team and fair enough but I’m not quite sure I would see the benefit of hiring Vettel at Mercedes if you have Hamilton and Bottas. Unless there are internal issues you weren’t happy with.
Vettel is a clear leader of Ferrari and it would seem that this is the best place for him and the team enter this weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix with a new upgrade so perhaps they will take even a bigger step toward the front, who knows?
To keep option open, however, I would imagine Vettel would only want a one year extension leaving him available for the 2019 season when everyone is up for options and contracts are expired.
Hat Tip: Autosport