The big paddock rumour in Hungary is that Mercedes has made a move to sign Sebastian Vettel.
The speculation was even pushed along by Red Bull’s Dr Helmut Marko, who suggested rivals like McLaren and Mercedes have indeed made big-money approaches to the German. “I don’t know which sources Helmut has, or doesn’t have, but they seem to vary, let’s say,” Vettel smiled on Thursday. But at the same time, the 27-year-old did not issue a categorical denial. In an interview with F1’s official website, he agreed that “sometimes a change can work miracles”.
And then Vettel issued a classic diversionary answer. “I am focused and busy with what we do here,” he said in Budapest, “because it is not so easy to make progress.” Like Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton, Vettel is firmly under contract for 2015, but that doesn’t mean offers and approaches are not flying about among the sport’s top teams and drivers. “I think any offer has to be considered,” Vettel admitted to reporters, “but nothing has changed. I don’t talk about these things. “I am very satisfied in my current team,” he is quoted by Der Spiegel. “At the moment, it’s not a question.”
But, still, an outright denial that he could be seeking a change of scene sounds different. Vettel was asked, for example, if he thinks the Mercedes star is “sexy”. “At the moment no,” he is quoted by Bild newspaper, “because it is constantly in front of us. “But if stars mean titles, then stars are something great, as a sportsmen should always have the goal to be as high as possible,” Vettel added. He even failed to deny that talks with paddock figures like Mercedes’ Toto Wolff or Niki Lauda might be beginning. “Today, there are many ways to make contact with someone. We all know each other and it’s not as though I have an unfamiliar face,” said Vettel. “There’s lots of ways to contact someone without everyone knowing,” he added.
Image: Red Bull