Vettel had signed a pre-contract with Mercedes for 2018, as Mercedes wanted to bring in a world champion to replace Nico Rosberg.
When Nico Rosberg announced his shock retirement from the sport after winning the 2016 championship, the F1 fraternity was left bewildered.
Having just witnessed one of the most fiercely contested title battle, F1 fans all around the globe were hoping for something similar in 2017, one where Hamilton would come all guns blazing and get his revenge over Rosberg.
The tension, the mind games, the on track action; all of it added to the spectacle and the fans yearned for more.
But Rosberg took all of that away from the F1 fraternity, as he felt he had had enough and it was time to move on.
Now, with Mercedes losing out on a world champion, they were reportedly interested in getting another one on board. And who better than Vettel, being the 4 time world champion that he was.
The Italian Media had reported that Mercedes had contacted Vettel right after Rosberg left and got him to a sign a pre-contract for the 2018 season(for the season after i.e.).
Niki Lauda’s friends had told the media during the pre-season test in Barcelona about the pre-signed contract.
Vettel though had not fully committed himself to Mercedes, but was keeping his options open and had reportedly a cut off date to commit to Mercedes.
Mark Hughes of Motorsport Magazine too had reported about the same, confirming that Vettel had agreed to the side option but was keen on continuing with Ferrari itself.
“I’m pretty sure Vettel has a signed option (on his side) to come to Mercedes from 2018, signed last year. And that Merc is waiting to hear by the specified date whether he is taking it up or not. Sadly, the indications are that he will not and a new Ferrari contract is set to be announced. But for a while there, the possibility of a Ham-Vet line-up was very real.” Hughes had reported.
Eddie Jordan too had spoken about the same, confirming that Vettel was having second thoughts about the pace of the Ferrari. But with the SF70H showing good pace and performance, Vettel decided to continue with Ferrari.
Vettel is up against it in the last few races, as Hamilton needs just 5 points to wrap up the 2018 title.
Vettel would be ruing his chances as despite having a superior car, Ferrari couldn’t quite close out the driver’s or constructor’s championship win.
With the Mexico GP this weekend, Vettel would be hoping that Ferrari get the win and Hamilton somehow slips up, so that the title race goes onto Brazil.
What. A. Race
Kimi makes history…
Verstappen stages an epic fightback…
And Vettel spins but still keeps the title fight alive
— Formula 1 (@F1) October 21, 2018
IT’S RACE WEEK!
— F1 Grand Prix Tours (@grandprixtours) October 24, 2018
— James 🇮🇪 (@JOC__1991) October 24, 2018
How good do you think the title battle would have been if Hamilton and Vettel were to race in the same team?