Sebastian Vettel on Thursday rejected claims that he had received a contract offer for 2021 from Racing Point, describing German news reports as “just loose talk”. The four-time world champion told a video conference ahead of this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix that he had no news on his future. Earlier, one of the current Racing Point drivers, Sergio Perez, said that the rumours had encouraged another team to make him an offer. Perez, Vettel and the second Racing Point driver Lance Stroll all said they did not take the rumours seriously. “It’s part of the circus,” said Stroll.
Vettel has been told he is not wanted by Ferrari next year leading to frenzied speculation, particularly in his native Germany.
“Rumours are called rumours for a reason,” Vettel said. “I have no news and I have already said that it will take some time before I make a good decision. Everything is open… Driving next year, not driving next year and not driving any more.”
“I’ve been around for a long time in F1 and you never know,” the 33-year-old said.
“The truth is that there is nothing to announce… Nothing agreed. Just loose talk.”
Perez said that the talk had created interest from other teams.
“During the week, obviously the rumours came out, and we actually got contacted by a team in the paddock — I won’t say names obviously — and also by teams in other categories, which was quite a surprise, because we have a contract for next year here,” the Mexican said.
He said he had no intention of leaving the in-form team, which is to be re-branded as Aston Martin in 2021.
Perez signed a three-year deal last season and brings significant sponsorship from his Mexican backer Telmex.
“It’s good to have big names linked to the team,” he said. “That means we are doing a good job and we are making progress.
“The team should be proud of it. I’ve been in Formula One for 10 years and so I am used to this stuff.”
Stroll, whose Canadian billionaire father Lawrence is the team owner, could also be under threat from a possible Vettel move.
“It’s all part of the silly season rumours and so on, so kind of as expected,” Stroll said. “It’s all part of the fun. We’re looking really competitive at the moment so I’m sure there’ll be a lot to talk about.”
Vettel and team-mate Charles Leclerc said they had moved on from last Sunday’s embarrassing opening collision 25 seconds into the Styrian Grand Prix.
“I think we’ve put it behind us,” said Leclerc, who added that he had been to blame. “I directly went to talk to Seb after the race to excuse myself.”
Vettel said he was looking forward to doing better in Hungary.
“These are the worst things that can happen, if two cars of the same colour come together,” he said.
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