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Sebastian Vettel

Wolff reacts to speculation linking Vettel to Mercedes

Sebastian Vettel has recently suggested that he could be convinced to come out of retirement and return to Formula 1.

Vettel
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Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has asserted that Sebastian Vettel is “someone you can never discount” amid rumours that he is seeking a return to Formula 1.

The four-time world champion has made noise in recent weeks over the prospect of jumping back behind the cockpit of an F1 car going forward.

Vettel has been tipped as a contender for a drive at Mercedes to replace Lewis Hamilton next year when the Briton departs for Ferrari.

Hamilton has already given his blessing for the scenario as he admitted he would be keen to see Vettel take over his seat.

Vettel bowed out of F1 at the end of the 2022 season to bring the curtain down on one of the most successful careers in the sport's history.

When asked if Mercedes is considering Vettel for next year, Wolff told media including RacingNews365: “Sebastian is someone that you can never discount.

“I think his track record is phenomenal and sometimes maybe taking a break is also good to re-evaluate what's important for you and refine your motivation.

“As I said before, we haven't taken the decision yet and it's not something that we plan to do in the next few weeks.”

Mercedes not rushing to make decision

Wolff confirmed that he has whittled down suitors into a final shortlist but would not reveal how many drivers are in contention.

Outside of Vettel, Fernando Alonso and Carlos Sainz have been named as possibilities, as has Mercedes junior driver Kimi Antonelli.

Wolff reiterated that Mercedes is taking its time over a decision as it evaluates its strongest option.

“I know that the driver market is very dynamic,” he said.

“Some of the really good guys they're about to sign for some of the other teams and we want to continue to have these discussions and keep the options open.

“But at that stage, I think it's much too early for us to commit to a driver whether they’re a very young or whether they’re very experienced.

“The next the next few months will give us more clues.”

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