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F1: Niki Lauda denies Vettel-to-Mercedes talks

From GMM

With the summer sun baking in Budapest, 'silly season' has well and truly arrived in the F1 paddock.

The big name is Sebastian Vettel, with rumours suggesting the Red Bull Racing driver could be on the move to Mercedes AMG in 2016.

Sebastian Vettel is firmly under contract to Red Bull Racing for another year, so - as a four-time world champion - perhaps he is just lighting a rumour or two to drive up his price.

"I think Sebastian Vettel is playing very clever contract poker, just as Adrian Newey did a few weeks ago," former F1 driver Alex Wurz told Germany's Sky in Hungary.

F1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing
Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull Racing. (Photo: WRi2)

Indeed, the ever plain-speaking Niki Lauda moved to rubbish the speculation altogether.

"We have never talked with Vettel about a contract or a cooperation," the Mercedes team chairman told Auto Motor und Sport.

"Why? Because we have two drivers.

"We have just extended the contract with Nico, and with Lewis (Hamilton) we are talking now. There is the desire to extend his contract as well.

"It makes no sense for us to look for a new driver," Niki Lauda added, insisting that is also true even if Fernando Alonso was on the market.