Vettel declines Rosberg's debrief invite
Sebastian Vettel has declined his invitation to the Mercedes debrief on Friday at the Malaysian Grand Prix, saying it is nothing more than a PR stunt.
Following the Australian Grand Prix, Vettel mocked Nico Rosberg for saying he hoped Mercedes' rivals close the gap over the next few rounds, leading to Rosberg inviting Vettel to join his team's debrief on Friday. Mercedes got behind the idea on social media and in the team's preview press release, but Vettel has shrugged off the invite as a PR stunt.
"I think when I was joking with Nico in the press conference the deal was the invite was for all the paddock, now it seems the invite has shrunk to just me," he said on Thursday. "Initially I think it was called off by Niki [Lauda] and Toto [Wolff], now they've told [Rosberg] yes so I think they are using it now as a bit more of a PR thing rather than a proper invite so the answer is no.
"I think they tried to use it as 'Ah yeah, we are so friendly and open to everyone'. Even if I went there, do you think they would really open up? That means I won't go, because even if I go it's all staged."
Vettel believes Mercedes is currently the runaway leader with Ferrari level pegging with Williams. However, he is not ready to rule out his old team Red Bull despite their struggles with Renault power.
"I think the favourites are very clear - just look at the gap from Australia - and then after that I think it will be very close. For us we try to confirm the result and the impression we left in Australia, so we try to make sure we establish ourselves in a similar position, ideally a little bit closer to Mercedes and a little bit further away from Williams. I expect it to be very close between us and Williams, and also I think Red Bull is a question of time until they come back. Obviously now they are struggling a bit so I think behind Mercedes it is very close."