I agree on the first line. But if I was Toto or anyone within Mercedes, I would never ever hire Vettel as second driver to Hamilton. I think Vettel is still too hungry to prove himself and redeem himself and he will never be a lap dog as Bottas is right now. Otherwise he could have stayed with Ferrari and be a lap dog over there to LeClerc. Not wanting to be lap dog to one driver but willing to be so for another top drver in another top team?
I don't think Toto ever wants to have a reoccurrance of 2016 another time.
And you know something? I don't think Lewis wants such either.
And I have the feeling that he has a word or two to say about who he accepts as a team mate and on which conditions.
Indeed, no way would Lewis want another run of eight points hindering mechanical mishaps. But I don't see that happening again as it was a bit of a freak. I've no idea if Hamilton has a say... but I believe from memory himself and Toto have said his opinion is heard, but it is only that; his opinion. Lewis's opinion was probably that Nico should be fired to the moon on a one way rocket after Monaco 2014. Naturally, if you are a bit annoyed at Hamilton and his run of success, thinking that he's stopping driver X getting a seat is maybe a useful stick to beat him with. But he's been teammates with Alonso, Button, Rosberg and been in championship fights with all three. I think he's well used to fighting with a teammate. And whilst you may think Bottas is a lapdog, the team have also been happy to sacrifice Hamilton for what is deemed the greater good and fair, i.e Suzuka last season. Even in the nadir of his No.2 role for the anti-Bottas bashers and trolls, he was still given a preferential strategy which put his teammate behind his championship rival. I don't think there would be a risk of Vettel fulfilling that role (overplayed by yourself in the case of Bottas) if he were fast enough, albeit it seems that is the role Ferrari had set for him.
One thing for Merc would be how Vettel races his teammate, because despite the wailing about Bottas, they do largely still let them race. It's not always been pretty from Vettel's side.
But then again, it was assumed even back in his Red Bull days that Vettel would retire early, so that may now be more appealing to him than trying to get a seat at Merc next to Hamilton. Although one positive is that being beaten by Hamilton would not knock his reputation compared to being bested/ shaded by team new starts like Danny Ric and Leclerc.