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Monday 5 December at 09:35
Vettel plays down Mercedes move rumour
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Monday 5 December at 09:35 : Dec.5 (GMM) Sebastian Vettel has responded to the seismic Nico Rosberg retirement story simply by referring to his Ferrari contract.

The German's name is linked with his departing countryman's 2017 seat, and Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff has not denied that tentative contact has already been made.

"Only two drivers have not called me: Daniil Kvyat and Kimi Raikkonen," said Wolff.

"Everyone else has, including Pastor Maldonado. Even drivers who have contracts."

But Wolff said: "I do not intend to interfere with the internal affairs of Ferrari, and I don't know whether Sebastian is seriously interested in a change."

At the Ferrari world finals event in Daytona, Vettel said: "Kimi and myself both have a contract so it should be clear."

Mercedes, however, has the financial clout to buy out any contract, but Wolff said: "Why should Ferrari or McLaren be without Vettel and Alonso in December?

"Or Williams with Valtteri Bottas? This third path that I have described is therefore in last place with me."

Indeed, Wolff had told Italy's La Gazzetta dello Sport that one option is to sign a number 2 driver for Lewis Hamilton, another is to go with Pascal Wehrlein or Esteban Ocon, while the third is to try to pull a top driver out of contract.
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