Vettel rules himself out of Mercedes running

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Sebastian Vettel says the fact he has a contract with Ferrari for next season makes it "clear" he is not in the running for the vacant Mercedes seat.

Nico Rosberg stunned Mercedes last week by informing the team he was retiring from F1 with immediate effect following his world championship win in Abu Dhabi. With one of the most coveted seats on the grid now available and most drivers under contract, Vettel was quick to rule himself out of the running to replace his fellow German.

“I think it’s not a big secret that both myself and Kimi [Raikkonen] have a contract for next year – so it should be clear,” Vettel said at the Ferrari World Finals event at Daytona.

And Vettel says he is not focusing on what Mercedes does over the winter, with all of his attention being directed to Ferrari as it looks to bounce back from a winless 2016.

“I don’t know what’s their plan but for us we look after ourselves for next year, there’s a lot of things changing so we’re quite busy ourselves. We’re very positive for next year.

“I think the team is getting stronger, that is what we’ve felt in the last couple of months at the track and in the factory. We should be able to come out with a better package.”

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