It could possibly happen between Mercedes and Red Bull.
Two mega-teams swapping World Champions? Rare, yes. Impossible, no. We seem to be heading in a direction that might see Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton jump ship and swap rides in the somewhat near future. It's a bit of a stretch, I know.
You're not buying it? Well I'm sure, like the rest of us, you also thought Andre Lotterer wouldn't be racing in the Belgian GP this weekend either, right? This is Formula One where bizarre is the norm and normality is bizarre.
How we got here
Let me take you through how this deal has all unfolded. Sebastian Vettel is a four-time World Champion who is getting his you know what handed to him by his young teammate Daniel Ricciardo. The World Championship isn't even a distant dream for him with the impeccable performance Mercedes has been enjoying thus far.
In July, Dr. Helmut Marko told the media that Red Bull's rivals are targeting Vettel, more specifically, Mercedes. Around the same time, Hamilton assured Mercedes that he is not looking elsewhere. Niki Lauda was also adamant that the team hadn't talked with Vettel at any time.
If stars mean titles, then stars are something great
Lauda believed that the quadruple World Champion was just playing 'contract poker' when Vettel dropped the head-turning statement, "If stars mean titles, then stars are something great."
Marko however, told reporters that he felt Vettel was testing the waters and seeing what's out there, saying one day later, "Niki has three opinions: one in the morning, one at noon and one in the evening."
Hamilton's tone suddenly changed following the Hungarian GP when Mercedes told him to move over for his German teammate. A defiant Hamilton refused. On July 28th, it emerged that Hamilton had requested a 90 million Euro contract extension with the team, a price substantially larger than what his championship leading teammate got with his extension mind you. Following the team orders controversy in Budapest, Hamilton's defiance was backed by Red Bull's Christian Horner. And let's not forget what went down in Monaco...
Contract poker or something else?
Yes, it's possible all of them are lying through their teeth and that all this he said, she said is just a bunch of 'contract poker' as Niki calls it, but a swap between these two wouldn't be all that surprising really. Vettel isn't happy at Red Bull. The car doesn't agree with him, his teammate is constantly eclipsing him in races, and he's taken a lot of heat from critics for his inability to win with anything less than a perfect situation.
Hamilton is not happy at Mercedes either. He has a tense relationship with Robserg, who some, including Hamilton to a point, believe is being favored by the team due to their shared nationality. His disgust when losing to Rosberg is always visibly apparent on the podium and they've traded verbal jabs on numerous occasions in the past; not the kind of teammate situation any organization wants. When you have a situation where there's two number one drivers, clashes are imminent and unavoidable. Hamilton's car also seems to be less reliable than Rosberg's, which is most likely just bad luck, but the imaginative minds of those in and around the sport may lead Lewis to think otherwise.
Although the prospect of two German drivers in a German team seems interesting, from a marketing standpoint, it's not what you want when hoping to expand your brand internationally. It was also revealed earlier this year that Red Bull considered signing Hamilton as Vettel's new teammate this season, before settling on Ricciardo. Those negotiations fell apart however.
This could very well be something, will probably end up being nothing, but maybe, just maybe...