But F1 legend Lauda denies the big plan is to lure German Vettel from Ferrari.
"That is not our plan -- I must say that quite clearly," the triple world champion and Mercedes team chairman told the Austrian broadcaster ORF.
However, he doesn't deny that Mercedes is keeping its options open.
"We're going to start with Bottas and (Lewis) Hamilton and see how it goes," said Lauda.
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