Lauda stokes the ‘Vettel to Mercedes’ fire

Niki Lauda has done little to squash continued reports that Sebastian Vettel has a pre-agreement with Mercedes for next season, praising the German as the "best at the moment."

Former F1 team boss turned TV pundit Eddie Jordan, who got it right when he told the world that Michael Schumacher would return to Formula 1 after his first retirement and would do so with Mercedes, recently stated that he believes Vettel is in talks with Mercedes.

? | Sebastian Vettel may already have a "pre-agreement" to switch to Mercedes for 2018. That is the claim of well-known F1 blogger and insider Leo Turrini, who is notoriously close to Ferrari. Although leading the world championship, Vettel – whose Ferrari contract expires late this year – is rumoured to be in talks with Mercedes. __________ . ? Turrini: It is no secret to anyone that after Rosberg’s retirement, Mercedes contacted Seb. During the pre-season test in Barcelona, Niki Lauda told friends confidentially that Vettel has a pre-agreement with the Germans for next season. ___ . ? But Turrini said Ferrari subsequently surprised with its strong pace, and therefore could ink a new deal with the quadruple world champion for 2018 and beyond. __________ . ? Eddie Jordan: Of course they [Mercedes] are talking with Vettel. They need to be. Formula one is a brutal business. It’s not just about strengthening yourself, but weakening your opponent. __________ . ? Toto Wolff on rumours of recent talks with Vettel: There’s nothing to it. I was only chatting with my Swiss neighbour. I think at the moment he [Vettel] has the fastest car, and when you have that, you don’t change. __________ #SebastianVettel #Vettel #Seb5 #SV5 #Vettel5 #5 #ForzaSeb #SebVettel #TeamVettel #F1 #Formula1 #FormulaOne #Formel1 #FormulaUno #Formule1 #ScuderiaFerrari #Ferrari #ForzaFerrari #PrancingHorse #RedSeason #MercedesAMGF1 #Mercedes #NikiLauda #F12017 #F1News

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He told Sport Bild: "Of course they're talking with Vettel. They need to be. 

"Formula 1 is a brutal business. It's not just about strengthening yourself, but weakening your opponent."

Jordan, though, isn't the only F1 personality who believes a deal, or at least a pre-agreement, is in the bag.

But rather than quash the rumours, Mercedes non-executive chairman Niki Lauda has thrown fuel on the fire.

He told Auto Bild: "He's the best at the moment.

"He is a straight-lined guy without talking a lot.

"He knows what he wants, he knows the points where he has to find something within himself to get the maximum performance.

"Just an incredible guy."

Vettel, though, is keeping quiet about his future.

"I'm here at the moment with Ferrari," he said. "That's what it's all about."

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