Ferrari links to Sebastian Vettel cloud Fernando Alonso's future

Team president says that pairing the Red Bull driver and Alonso would be a non-starter

Ferrari's president yesterday refused to rule out a deal to sign the world champion, Sebastian Vettel, but appeared to deny that an agreement was already in place for 2014.

Luca Cordero di Montezemolo used some colourful language as he addressed the latest big contract issue on the Formula One circuit after Lewis Hamilton's decision to move to Mercedes.

However, a simple interpretation points to talk of Vettel joining the Italian team having substance. When looking ahead to the make up of the Ferrari team, the president said that "2014 is still to come".

The complicating factor for him is which driver would take priority. Ferrari's No 1 driver, Fernando Alonso, has a contract with them until 2016 and Montezemolo insisted that team harmony is paramount.

"I don't want to have two roosters in the same hen house, rather two drivers who race for Ferrari and not for themselves," he said on the team's official website.

"I don't want problems and rivalries, which we didn't have between [Michael] Schumacher and [Eddie] Irvine, between Schumacher and [Rubens] Barrichello, between Alonso and [Felipe] Massa or Massa and Schumi or Massa and [Kimi] Raikkonen."

 

Get Adobe Flash player

 

By 2014, Alonso will be 33, while Vettel will be just 27, and suggestions of a deal with Ferrari come a day after the Red Bull driver overtook the Spaniard at the top of the World Championship standings with victory in the Korean Grand Prix.

Any deal would seemingly hinge on whether Ferrari consider Alonso to be their No 1 driver going forward, and if not, he may have to accept that he will have to play second fiddle to the younger man, or find a new team.

Alonso had a tumultuous relationship with Hamilton during his one season at McLaren in 2007, with neither driver willing to accept that the other was the top talent. He is also said to have a clause in his contract which gives him approval over the identity of his Ferrari team-mate.

Red Bull yesterday rejected claims that a deal had been done with Ferrari, with team adviser Helmut Marko saying: "These are untruths." And the team principal, Christian Horner, said: "Sebastian Vettel, without a shadow of doubt, will be part of the Red Bull Racing team in 2014."

Yesterday's speculation also suggested designer Adrian Newey could make the move from Red Bull to Ferrari, but this was likewise rejected by Montezemolo. "As for Newey, I can say that he is very good at his job but we managed to win eight constructors' titles in the last 13 championships."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee