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Marko: Merc and Seb? Go for it

2013-05-06 13:17

’SO WHAT DO YOU SAY, WILL YOU JOIN US?’ Mercedes Niki Lauda (right) will have better luck persuading Mark Webber to join Mercedes instead of champion Sebastian Vettel. Image: AFP

Red Bull Team adviser Helmut Marko has admitted he can understand Mercedes' efforts to woo his team's triple World Champion Sebastian Vettel.

Mercedes' new chairman and shareholder Niki Lauda admitted he has been trying to convince Vettel to join Mercedes, whose current drivers are Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg.

Lauda said: "I continued what (former motor sport director Norbert) Haug began."


Marko insisted he had no hard feelings: "Niki should absolutely be trying to get Vettel."

The news gives fresh insight into the driver rumblings at Red Bull amid Mark Webber's possible exit at the end of 2013 and rumours that Kimi Raikkonen is being courted.

F1 technical expert Gary Anderson told the BBC: "Red Bull needs to ensure that if Sebastian Vettel gets a mega-offer from Ferrari and leaves it has its tail covered - Raikkonen would be very capable of that. I believe he's a perfect fit for Red Bull. I wouldn't be surprised if negotiations were well down the road for this to happen."

Similarly, David Coulthard thought Lotus might be hard-pressed to convince Raikkonen to stay if powerful Red Bull comes a-knocking. "Lotus definitely has good people but it looks like not the same financial set-up (as Red Bull)."


Coulthard said former team mate Webber was a still doing a good job "but the link between Kimi and Red Bull goes way back". "If Mark decides to do something else, in my view Kimi would be the perfect team mate for Sebastian."

Raikkonen said: "I don't have a contract (beyond 2013) but at some point I have to think about it. I want to win and, at least for the moment, I want to at  Lotus."

Some have named Raikkonen as Vettel's most likely challenger for the 2013 title but Raikkonen was not so sure: "It's going to be hard to catch Sebastian if he keeps taking good results so we need to start taking more points from him."

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