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Following Lewis Hamilton’s announced departure for Ferrari, Mercedes has a vacant seat for the 2025 season. On Friday in Suzuka, Toto Wolff did not rule out the idea of four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel, who has been retired since the end of 2022, joining the star-studded team for next year.

“Sebastian is someone we can’t rule out.” Toto Wolff was reluctant to be definitive at the Japanese Grand Prix press conference on Friday, when asked about the possible arrival of 36-year-old Sebastian Vettel at Mercedes in 2025. The four-time world champion, who has been retired since the end of the 2022 season, himself spoke of frequent contact with the Austrian team boss, but not necessarily about the possibility of a free seat at Mercedes alongside George Russell, following Lewis Hamilton’s announced departure for Ferrari at the end of the season.


Toto Wolff on Sebastian Vettel

“His record of achievements is phenomenal, and sometimes taking a break is good for regaining motivation”.

The German team has young hopeful Kimi Antonelli in its academy, and must decide whether the Italian, who this season is racing in Formula 2, has the shoulders to show in F1.

On Vettel, Wolff continued: “I think his track record is phenomenal, and sometimes taking a break is good for regaining motivation. We haven’t made any decisions yet, and we don’t plan to do so in the next few weeks. I know that the market is very active, that there are some very good drivers ready to sign for other teams, but for our part, we want to continue discussions and keep our options open. It’s too early to commit to any driver, whether very young or very experienced. The next few months will tell us more.”

Since leaving F1, Vettel has not been idle. At Motorland Aragon, he recently test-drove the Porsche 963 entered in the Endurance World Championship by Team Penske in association with the German manufacturer.

Verstappen on the hunt after his breakage


This article originally written by Maxime Malet of L’Equippe