Niki Lauda says the ongoing rumors of a pre-agreement between world championship leader Sebastian Vettel and Mercedes is “bulls*it”, questioning why the German would want to leave Ferrari with its upturn in form.
Mercedes, who have dominated Formula 1 since 2014, have been the go-to for many F1 drivers, following claims that “half” the F1 grid called the Mercedes F1 team, offering their services, following the news of Nico Rosberg’s retirement last December.
Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari contract expires at the end of the year, and following the German’s upturn in form with Ferrari this year, the four-time F1 world champion is in high demand – with his options open for the 2018 season.
However, Niki Lauda has labelled the pre-agreement — which was floating around world media in the days building up to the Spanish Grand Prix — as “bulls*it”, questioning why the Ferrari driver would want to depart from a team that is on level, if not better, than Mercedes currently in Formula One.
“[That is] bulls*it” Lauda said, talking to Sky Sports F1 about the rumors in regards to Vettel signing a Mercedes contract for 2018.
“Why would Vettel leave Ferrari when he’s winning?
“There is no reason. He will stay in this team, he loves this team, and everything is right. So there is no reason to think all these things.”
Attention on 2017 title bid
Sebastian Vettel insists he is currently putting all his attention on his bid for a fifth F1 world championship, following the opportunity that Ferrari has presented him for this Formula 1 season.
The German currently leads Lewis Hamilton by 13 points at the top of the standings in the drivers championship, meanwhile Ferrari trail Mercedes by just 1 points in the constructors championship.
“It’s my first time in this situation where I don’t really know what happens next year, but I’m not too worried,” Vettel said.
“I’m really focused on what’s going on right now, and that’s the same in the team from what I hear from people.