Vettel says it “should be clear” he’s not replacing Rosberg
Sebastian Vettel has pledged his allegiance to Ferrari, despite speculation linking him to replacing the recently-retired Nico Rosberg at Mercedes in 2017.
Speaking at the Ferrari World Finals event in Daytona, Vettel said he respects Rosberg’s decision to retire as world champion, and wished him: “Happy holiday!”
When asked by Motosport.com if he could clarify his contractual situation for 2017, and whether he'd received any contact from Mercedes, he replied: “I think it’s not a big secret that both myself and Kimi [Raikkonen] both have a contract for next year – so it should be clear.”
Vettel was reluctant to comment on whether the loss of Rosberg would disrupt Mercedes going into the 2017 season.
“I don’t know what’s their plan but for us we look after ourselves for next year, there’s a lot of things changing so we’re quite busy ourselves,” he said. “Obviously, for us, we’re very positive for next year.
“I think the team is getting stronger, that is what we’ve felt in the last couple of months at the track and in the factory. We should be able to come out with a better package.”
Vettel said he wishes Rosberg well in his retirement, and that he respected his decision to quit while he was on top.
“I think everybody is free to do what he or she wants,” said Vettel. “I respect his decision. I’m sure he’ll take time off before he goes on to do something else. Happy holiday!”
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