Here's a bit of lateral thinking based on nothing other than supposition. The Red Bull Formula One team doesn't have an engine supply at the moment. It's known the team is keen to switch from Renault, and it's known that the engine it really wants is the Mercedes unit.

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However, thus far attempts to get a Mercedes engine deal have been blocked, reports say either because the German manufacturer is already at maximum capacity, or because one of its other customers doesn't want the one of its main rivals to get its hands on what is acknowledged as the best engine in F1. So what can Red Bull do? It can accept this fact, or look within to see if it has something that Mercedes wants. A German driver, perhaps? One with F1-winning pedigree, youth on his side and an image that can be moulded exactly as you wish, with no real associations to other car makes. Step forward Sebastien Vettel. Could this be the surprise that Mercedes motorsport boss Norbert Haug is talking about, rather than the much vaunted signing of Michael Schumacher (which is a neat smokescreen, diverting attention away from this altogether more logical deal)?

Could it be that Kimi Raikkonen's management team have seen this coming all along, and did the Red Bull-backed WRC deal in anticipation of this very opportunity opening up? Probably not, but stranger things have happened in F1.