May 18 (GMM) Toto Wolff has admitted signing German Sebastian Vettel for 2021 would be a “good marketing story” for Mercedes.
Many believe the quadruple world champion, having decided to leave Ferrari, will not settle for a midfield seat like Renault.
“There are still some interesting places for him,” Mercedes team boss told the Austrian broadcaster ORF.
“But he will decide for himself whether he wants to stop or go to another team. Sebastian has everything in his hands.
“Of course, a German driver in a German car is a good marketing story. We are focused exclusively on success,” Wolff insisted.
“Sebastian is of course someone who is really good,” he added.
Wolff also told Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung that it is “a shame that a bit of an era is coming to an end” with Vettel’s Ferrari exit.
“His word has weight in Formula 1,” the Austrian added. “He is also a bit of an antithesis to the generation of young guys who have been coming into sport for a few years now.
“No good team will simply ignore a four-time world champion suddenly appearing on the market.”
But Wolff denied that Mercedes is poised to make a decision about 2021.
“We certainly won’t get ourselves into this situation,” he said, referring to McLaren and Ferrari’s early calls about who will drive for them in 2021.
“How do you deal with innovation and development when you know that your driver can use it against you the next year? We don’t want to put ourselves in the same situation.”
However, Wolff acknowledged that the contracts of both Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas run out at the end of 2020.
“That’s why we think about what to do with George Russell and then there’s the Vettel scenario. But that’s not first on the agenda right now because we want to focus on our own team first.”