Lewis Hamilton, winner of five grands prix so far in 2014, is contracted to Mercedes until the end of the 2015 Formula 1 season. Already, Mercedes has plans to replace him with Sebastian Vettel from 2016 and beyond. That’s what Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko is telling German media anyway.
Remember, Nico Rosberg is safely tucked away at Mercedes for some time, so they only have one seat up for grabs. Providing perfect fodder for the likes of us here at AUSmotive both Hamilton and Vettel have been kind enough to comment on the speculation. So let’s go with Lewis first.
“I’m not worried about it,” he said in the build up to this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix. “Another German driver? I’m not sure if that’s something Mercedes would like.
“At the moment I’m here until the end of next year, so it’s not going to be any time soon. But Mercedes are the best, so everyone is going to want to drive a Mercedes.
“I’ve shown an interest in sitting down and talking. We haven’t sat down yet, but the team know I’d like to push to continue, and they have made clear they would like to do the same.”
In words, at least, Lewis does seem quite relaxed and is displaying a mature attitude.
“You never know what’s going to happen in the future, but I can’t particularly see myself anywhere else,” he added. “If they happen to want someone else then I’m not going to whinge about it. There are places for everyone.”
And now for Sebastian’s thoughts.
“I think any offer is to be considered, but nothing has changed,” he said. “So I still don’t talk about these things. I don’t know which sources Helmut has or doesn’t have. But they seem to vary.”
Coincidentally, Vettel’s contract with Red Bull ends in 2015 as well, so he will need to secure himself a drive for 2016.