In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, Hamilton appeared to be quite annoyed by the rumours, especially given Mercedes’ good start to the 2013 season.
“It’s not something I need to think about, because it’s not going to happen.
“Nico qualified on pole in the last race, so he clearly has the speed and deserves to be here. I have just come to the team and I’m not doing too badly, so I doubt they will be replacing me.
“It doesn’t affect me in the slightest. Why should it? I’m comfortable where I am. I have a solid contract and a great lawyer, as have Mercedes.”
It is noteworthy that Hamilton did not entertain the idea of him partnering triple-champion Vettel at Mercedes, but instead inferred that it would be a ‘him or me’ decision for the German marque. It is thought that Niki Lauda would be interested in bringing Vettel to the team as part of Mercedes’ German image. However, the fact that makes all of these rumours difficult to believe is that Hamilton is just four races into a three-year contract.
For Vettel, there is no reason for him to leave Red Bull except for personal gain. The team has guided him to three consecutive drivers’ championship, and he currently leads this year’s title race. He also works alongside Adrian Newey, widely recognised as the best F1 car designer in the world; many drivers would give a great deal to have this support. All great champions have made their names in more than one car, though, except for Jim Clark who won all of his titles with Lotus. Should Vettel choose to move and continue this level of success, his credentials as an all-time great would be affirmed. Hypothetically, naturally.
Image courtesy of Octane Photographic.