Vettel not being considered as Mercedes look long-term with 2021 drivers

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Sebastian Vettel is not one of the names being considered to drive for Mercedes in 2021, Valtteri Bottas has been told.

Speculation has been linking the German to the Brackley-based outfit ever since it was announced he and Ferrari had agreed to part ways at the end of this season.

Recently, team boss Toto Wolff said he "owed" it to Vettel to keep him in mind should one of his current drivers 'do a Rosberg' and leave suddenly after 2020 too.

But as a potential replacement for Bottas, the Finn says the four-time champion isn't a threat.

"We've been very honest also with my team all the time, what's the situation, and how it's going to be contract-wise," he told Sky Sports about contract talks.

"I got a pretty straight message that no, they are not considering Seb, so I said fine, no worries then.”

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Mercedes though might still be considering a change for 2021, as Wolff suggested the line-up would take the team into the next generation of regulations.

"Red Bull has two very talented drivers, Ferrari has very talented drivers - I think the combination they've chosen is very good," he also F1 veteran Martin Brundle.

"We need to make sure our short-term future is in good hands, and there are no better hands out there than Lewis [Hamilton]', and then our mid-to-long-term strategy is being considered.

"It's not an easy situation but we are in a good place."

Those comments may offer hope to Mercedes youngster George Russell, who is waiting for his chance to shine along with his fellow F2 graduates.

“I have been a Mercedes driver for four years now. They helped all of my development, when in GP3, F2 and helped me into F1. They are like a family to me,” he recently told Germany's RTL.

“It’s no secret that every driver wants the opportunity to win races, to win championships.

“I said it before if a Mercedes seat was available, I don’t think any driver would turn it down. They are the best team. Who wouldn’t want the opportunity?”


Bottas though is remaining calm about the situation.

"It's the same as every year for me,” he explained. “It’s no different in any way than any other season for me.

"There are always talks, and the situation has been the same for me.

"I find it quite funny with not even a single race done, there's been people getting my seat. It made me laugh a couple of times.

"There's no pressure from that side because I still have my clear goal for the season in my mind, and that's it.

"Things will then sort themselves, one way or another, whatever is going to happen. I have no stress about that at all.”