Mercedes denies moving to sign Vettel for 2012

(GMM) Norbert Haug has denied Helmut Marko's claim that Mercedes is making a move to sign Sebastian Vettel for 2012.

After Marko this week admitted that Ferrari is pushing hard to poach Red Bull staff, the Austrian has now told Kleine Zeitung that Mercedes is moving on the energy drink-owned team's reigning world champion Vettel.

Asked by the newspaper who other than Ferrari is interested in the 23-year-old, motor racing consultant Vettel answered: "Mercedes for sure.

"Knowing that Sebastian has a contract with us, Mercedes expresses quite an interest in him."

Marko confirmed that Vettel's contract expires at the end of the year but includes an option for 2012.

"For the time after (2011), we are already talking," he revealed.

But when asked about Marko's comments, Mercedes' motor sport vice president Haug said the German marque has "not made Sebastian Vettel an offer".

"We have exactly the drivers we wanted in Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg," he told the German press agency DPA.

Haug however admitted it is "no secret" he has a good personal relationship with German Vettel but said it is "absolutely wrong" to make any assumptions because of that.

Multiple MotoGP champion Valentino Rossi thinks Mercedes would be right to be on the market for another driver.

At the Madonna di Campiglio 'Wrooom' event for Ferrari and Ducati, the rider said he thinks it will be "almost impossible" for Schumacher to win again following a three-year retirement.

"Michael is still going (with his comeback) and hopes to get the results he wants," the Italian is quoted by SID news agency. "But as I said, it will be very difficult."

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