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Lauda hits out at Marko over Vettel to Mercedes rumor

Aug 2, 2014, 10:00 AM EDT

Spanish F1 Grand Prix - Qualifying Getty Images

The 2014 edition of Formula 1’s ‘silly season’ is proving to be one of the most intriguing and frankly silly yet. Why? Because we’re already making predictions about the grid for the 2016 season.

Much of the driver market is thought to revolve around McLaren’s seats, with Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel just two of the drivers being linked to Woking. However, Vettel is also being chased by Mercedes according to Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko, even if Christian Horner says otherwise.

Niki Lauda has become the latest figure to chip in on the argument, and in his typical no-nonsense fashion, the Mercedes non-executive director has been pretty frank about the chances of Vettel joining the German marque as a replacement for Lewis Hamilton.

“We are already in touch with him [Hamilton] to renew his contract,” Lauda told Sky Sports. “All the speculation of bull*** Marko is absolute rubbish.”

Speaking to Sport Bild last month, Marko said that it was clear that Mercedes was chasing Vettel, saying: “Of course they target him, and they are not the only team. McLaren-Honda made Sebastian an outrageously high offer.”

With Hamilton closing in on a new contract with Mercedes and McLaren thought to be angling for either Fernando Alonso or Valtteri Bottas for 2016, Vettel does look set to stay with Red Bull for the time being. Although the defending world champions have struggled in 2014, team principal Christian Horner has no concerns about Vettel’s happiness.

“Well usually it’s the start of the silly season where he’s either going to Ferrari or Eric [Boullier] made him a big offer or maybe going to Mercedes,” he joked in Hungary. “So, we just wait to see which team it’s going to be.

“Sebastian is absolutely committed to the team. There’s no doubt at all that he’ll be with Red Bull next year and he’s enjoyed so much success with the team, he’s happy with the team and the team are very happy with him.”

  1. techmeister1 - Aug 2, 2014 at 11:27 AM

    First of all why would anyone give credence to anything Motor Mouth Marko spews? If McLaren or Mercedes were looking for a new driver they’d more than likely be looking at Ricciardo NOT Vettel. Why would they pay a premium for Vettel when Ricciardo is a far better driver in the same equipment and his personality is 100 times more appealing to fans and sponsors?

    Hammy and Vettel have both exposed their dark sides in their own comments this season and in the past. They may be good F1 drivers but they are not the best drivers on the grid and they certainly are both unscrupulous characters that many sponsors would prefer to steer clear of, especially with other much more desirable F1 drivers and teams available.

  2. f1fan13 - Aug 3, 2014 at 9:19 AM

    Vettel has a personality? And by the looks of the thumbs down, you have irritated the Prima donnas small fan base. Good work!

  3. ducati007 - Aug 3, 2014 at 5:09 PM

    I hear anyone can be bought so to speak. The guys are going to go where the bucks are and the best engines available are (at the time of signing). Vettel had his day in the sun and I’m so glad that Daniel is kicking his ass. Mr “Smiley” you rock. The funny thing is that he is from Australia where Mark Webber was from. How quaint. One Assie taking care of the the rubbih of another Aussie. As far as the rookies, tho, give me a riccardio and bottas. they’re hungry and have done fabulous thus far.
    Alonso needs a better ride and Kimi is on his way out to race with the Mark Webbers (no slur).
    Ferrari, Enzo would be rolling over in his grave if he were alive to see this. AARGH GET A GRIP

  4. barrylibby - Aug 4, 2014 at 9:36 AM

    Let us remember the numerous words of Herr Lauda and his verbal maneuvering to get LH away from R.Dennis!
    All the while praising Vettel !

    This is two very similar characters talking out of their you now what !

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