Sebastian Vettel is supposedly being targeted by both McLaren and Mercedes, according to Red Bull motorsport advisor Helmut Marko.
Despite securing four successive Championship crowns since 2010, Vettel’s dominance has waned this season in the face of the all-dominant Mercedes team.
Although the 27-year-old is contracted to Red Bull until the end of the 2015 season, rumours with regards to his future have been rife for months with many linking the reigning World Champion to Ferrari.
However, the Scuderia are not the only top team currently vying for Vettel’s services with both current Mercedes and McLaren interested in signing the Red Bull star.
Whilst Nico Rosberg cemented his place with Mercedes after signing a long-term contract prior to the German Grand Prix weekend, Lewis Hamilton’s future is far from confirmed with the Briton’s current contract with Mercedes expiring at the end of the 2015, the same time when Vettel’s expires with Red Bull.
Earlier in the season it was confirmed that McLaren had made ‘tentative’ talks with Lewis Hamilton about a potential return to the Woking-based outfit, which would essentially leave the door wide open for Vettel to join fellow countryman Rosberg at Mercedes.
However, should Hamilton decide to put pen to paper in the coming months and sign yet another contract with Mercedes, then Vettel could well find himself heading to McLaren and spearheading the Honda return alongside either Kevin Magnussen, current GP2 driver Stoffel Vandoorne or another team-mate altogether.
“Of course they [Mercedes] target him,” explained Helmut Marko to Sport Bild. “And they are not the only team. McLaren-Honda made Sebastian an outrageously high offer.”
Although many would find it difficult to envisage Vettel ‘flying the nest’ and joining another F1 outfit, they need only to look at Hamilton’s surprise move to Mercedes in 2013 to understand that anything can happen in the F1 driver market.
With Vettel struggling in the new era of the sport, with no victory to his name and both team-mate Daniel Ricciardo, Fernando Alonso, the Mercedes duo and even Valtteri Bottas ahead of him in the Drivers’ Championship, the once dominant German will understandably be considering alternative options to return to his winning ways.
Picture Copyright © Octane Photographic