With his Ferrari days numbered, and Red Bull indicating they won’t meet his salary requirements, his only chance of joining a team which has won a race at the last six years is at Mercedes.
Should they offer him a drive?
A four-times world champion who’s out-of-contract is a rare thing indeed. And, knowing they could offer him a very competitive car for 2021, Mercedes could potentially get Vettel for considerably less than Ferrari were paying him.
If they were to pair him with Hamilton, that would instantly create the most successful driver line-up Formula 1 has ever seen, with a combined 137 race victories and 10 world championships at the time of writing.
A Hamilton-Vettel partnership is not as unrealistic as it might sound. The pair have gone up against each other for world championships twice in recent seasons with little real needle between them, Azerbaijan 2017 run-in aside, and an awful lot of mutual respect.
Neither a Bottas-Vettel line-up nor a Hamilton-Vettel partnership is realistic. The former would mean dropping F1’s star driver – a non-starter. As for the latter, combining even a reduced salary for Vettel with the sky-high retainer Hamilton can expect would still be a huge financial burden. Irrespective of the realities of the cost of Mercedes’ F1 programme to Daimler, it would draw unfavourable attention to it given the parent company was seeking to cut 15,000 staff even before the hammer blow dealt by the pandemic.
Mercedes had an enviable driver line-up in 2019. Any team would love to have Hamilton, who is at the peak of his form, and Bottas is making steady, incremental gains on him while taking care not to destabilise the team the way his predecessor did. There’s no reason to disturb that even to sign a driver of Vettel’s stature.
Do I want to see the two most successful drivers in Formula 1 today going head-to-head against each other in what will surely be a championship-contending car in 2021? With Vettel fired up to put one over the team who lost faith in him?
Yes I would very much like to see that.
No disrespect to Bottas, who drove a very good season last year, but the chance to benchmark two great champions against each other is something surely all F1 ans wants to see?
Do I think it’s going to happen? Not a chance, sadly.
Should Mercedes hire Vettel to drive for their F1 team in 2021? Cast your vote below and have your say in the comments.
Do this agree Mercedes should hire Vettel for 2021?
- Strongly disagree (42%)
- Strongly agree (32%)
- Slightly disagree (11%)
- Slightly agree (9%)
- Neither agree nor disagree (5%)
- No opinion (1%)
Total Voters: 387
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