Formula One 2021 transfer controversies are far from being over as an internal battle could be brewing at Mercedes, with parent company Daimler reportedly keen on signing Sebastian Vettel for 2021.
Motorsport boss Toto Wolff has been pretty vocal about the four-time world champion since his looming exit from Ferrari was announced last week, acknowledging the potential positives of signing him while also suggesting he was happy with Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas.
According to Italian journalist Giuliano Duchessa, however, the board at Daimler, led by CEO Ola Kallenius, see the opportunity to have one of the positives the Austrian suggested, a German driver in Vettel driving for a German-backed team, and therefore want to partner him with Hamilton.
If true, it does slightly go against recent Daimler sentiment of a push to reduce costs even before the coronavirus pandemic, leading to suggestions the works Mercedes team could be sold.
But the belief appears to be if Vettel is willing to sign for the right price, then it would only boost the promotion of the company and therefore make retaining the team more desirable.
In the way of that vision becoming a reality though are both Wolff and Hamilton, who want to see Bottas retained for another year at least.
This also comes as both driver and team boss are also out of contract at the end of 2020.
Commenting on the possibility of Vettel wearing silver though, ex-McLaren driver David Coulthard was pessimistic.
“I think that would be a mistake for Mercedes,” he told the Daily Mail.
“In Lewis, they’ve got someone who can win Grands Prix and Championships. To bring Seb in there because you think that that will raise Lewis’ game… it’s very difficult.
“If you look at these exceptional performers in sport, serial winners, I don’t think he [Hamilton] needs the friction of a four-time World Champion to get the best out of him.
“I think Vettel could be disruptive to the team.
“I think that if he offered his services for no money then of course the Mercedes board would have to look at it seriously, to have a German driver in the team,” the Scot added.
“But I just can’t imagine he would, so the pairing of Valtteri and Lewis seems like the most efficient way to win another Championship.
“Both drivers can’t win, there’s never been a dead heat in a Grand Prix, so you’re only going to end up with problems that history have shown when you have two strong personalities in one team.”