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Wolff admits Vettel is ‘never a name you can discount’ amid rumours of F1 comeback with Mercedes

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Toto Wolff has stated that he would “never discount” Sebastian Vettel amid reports linking the four-time world champion to a possible F1 comeback with Mercedes.

Having recently taken part in an endurance test with Porsche, Vettel acknowledged that he could potentially be interested in returning to Formula 1 as well as saying that he had been in “conversations” with Wolff, though added that this was “not really about the seat” that has become available at the team in 2025 after Lewis Hamilton’s decision to switch to Ferrari.

READ MORE: Vettel says F1 return could be ‘appealing and interesting’ as he reveals talks with Mercedes boss Wolff

Hamilton has hailed the possibility of Vettel joining the Silver Arrows as an “amazing option” and, when asked ahead of the Japanese Grand Prix how realistic such a move could be, Wolff similarly spoke highly of the German driver.

“Seb I think is flirting with the idea of going racing again,” said the Mercedes team boss. “You can see he’s done a sportscar test with Porsche and has been enjoying it, and I think maybe there is the idea that came back of maybe coming back to Formula 1.

Wolff responds to reports Vettel could make F1 comeback with Mercedes

“Sebastian has been a good friend since a long time, I respect him as a driver a lot. Therefore it’s never a name you can discount and say ‘no it’s not for us’, it needs to be part of any discussions going forward.”

Vettel retired from Formula 1 at the end of the 2022 season after a 15-year career in the sport, in which he achieved four world championships, 53 race wins and 57 pole positions.

READ MORE: Wolff names first choice to replace Hamilton at Mercedes as he sets timeline for decision

Reflecting on the comeback rumours further while speaking to the press, Wolff suggested that time away from the sport can sometimes be a positive, before reiterating that Mercedes intend to take more time in deciding who will join George Russell at the team in 2025.

SUZUKA, JAPAN - APRIL 05: Mercedes GP Executive Director Toto Wolff attends the Team Principals

Wolff is intending to take more time in deciding on which driver will join Mercedes in 2025

“Sometimes maybe taking a break is also good to reevaluate what’s important for you and to re-find your motivation,” Wolff commented. “As I said before, we haven’t taken the decision yet, and it’s not something we plan to do in the next few weeks.

“The driver market is very dynamic, some of the really good guys are about to sign for some of the other teams. We want to continue to have this discussion and keep the options open, but at that stage I think it’s much too early for us to commit to a driver, whether very young or very experienced – I don’t want to say old! The next few months will give us more clues.”

READ MORE: 5 bold F1 driver moves that paid off – and 5 that didn’t – as Hamilton makes his Ferrari call

When asked if he has whittled the number of candidates down, Wolff responded: “Yes.” But when pushed further on whether he could reveal that figure, the Austrian added with a smile: “No!”

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