Sebastian Vettel focused on Valencia Grand Prix despite Ferrari rumours
Friday 22 June 2012
Sebastian Vettel is adamant he has in no way been unsettled by the latest flattering comments to emerge from Ferrari.
Team principal Stefano Domenicali this week dropped a broad hint as to the prospect of partnering Vettel with fellow double world champion Fernando Alonso in the future by claiming the duo could "easily co-exist together".
It is a prospect some way off given Vettel's current deal expires at the end of 2014, although it is believed there are performance-related clauses within it which could result in an early escape.
For now, though, Vettel's sole focus is on making it a hat-trick of Formula One world titles rather than pondering a future move to Ferrari.
"I've always said Ferrari is a great team with a great history, and with a great tradition in Formula One in particular," Vettel said.
"I'm very flattered [by Domenicali's remark]. It's very nice. I respect Ferrari a lot and I respect Fernando a lot.
"But I'm very happy with where I am at the moment. Does it unsettle me? No. For now the focus is entirely on this season.
"If you want to have a say on this year's championship, you are much better off being fully focused because as you can see it's extremely tight, with a lot of winners so far, so I need all my focus on this year."
Vettel is also far from surprised at how open Domenicali has been with his comment - something unlikely to have pleased team boss Christian Horner.
"Generally there is always something going round the paddock," the 24-year-old German said ahead of this weekend's European Grand Prix, which he has won for the last two years.
"Just a couple of weeks ago Mark [Webber] was being linked to Ferrari as a potential driver for them for next year, so the media will always find something to talk about."
As far as Alonso is concerned, he has remarkably revealed having an input as to who any potential team-mate might be.
Asked specifically whether he had previously had any involvement at any other team when it came to selecting a team-mate, Alonso said: "In the past, never. At Ferrari, yes.
"I'm in Italy every week, so when I'm there sometimes I see the president, I see Stefano and we talk about many things, about the future and team-mates as well."
It is difficult to imagine Alonso wanting to have a team-mate who could upset his number-one status within Ferrari.
He has suggested he would have "no problem" working with Vettel or even Lewis Hamilton again, despite their previous fractious relationship at McLaren in 2007.
Alonso said: "Whatever team-mate comes in the future will be welcome, will be part of the team and part of Ferrari.
"As I said when I joined this team, the most important thing in Ferrari is to help each other to make one red car win.
"It's something president [Luca] di Montezemolo is very clear on when you arrive at Ferrari.
"So whoever my team-mate - if he comes - will be no problem, and we will try to work together, as I do now with Felipe [Massa]."
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