Vettel cools speculation over Ferrari move
Date published : 21 Jun 2012 - 19:18:56
Defending double world champion Sebastian Vettel reacted coolly on Thursday amid speculation that he might move to join Fernando Alonso at Ferrari in an F1 'super-team' in 2014.
The speculation was sparked by comments from Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali, who heaped praise on the German, currently with Red Bull.
In comments that first appeared in German publications Sport Bild and Auto Bild and were later published on his team's website, Domenicali said that the two world champions could "co-exist" at Ferrari.
"I think they are both intelligent guys and they could easily co-exist together," he said.
Alonso said he would have no problem with the German joining him at Ferrari in the future when he was asked about such a move as the teams gathered in the Valencia paddock on Thursday ahead of this weekend's European Grand Prix.
When asked what he thought, Vettel told reporters: "It's very nice to hear that. I respect Ferrari a lot, I respect Fernando a lot. I see it as a compliment.
"I'm flattered, obviously. I've always said that Ferrari is a great team with a great history, a great tradition, in Formula 1 in particular. But as I've said before, I'm very happy with where I am at the moment."
Vettel added that he was not unsettled by rumours about him in the driver market and said he felt that none of his championship rivals could afford to become distracted by talk of the future.
"Does it unsettle me? No," he said. "If you want to have a word in this year's championship, you are much better off having all the focus on this year.
"As we have seen, it is extremely tight, a lot of races, a lot of winners. So I think I need all the focus on this year.
"Generally, there is always something going round in the paddock. Just before Monaco, Mark [Webber] was linked to Ferrari. You [the media] will always find something to talk about."
Alonso and Vettel are currently fighting to become the youngest ever three-time champion this year, with Alonso looking to add to the titles he won in 2005 and 2006.
Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone, who was also interviewed by Sport Bild and Auto Bild, agreed with Domenicali.
"That wouldn't be a problem: both are drivers who are always looking for a new challenge and to be in the same team would be a new and big challenge," he said.
"They would both think they can beat the other one, as they are sure of themselves and Stefano would do what was required to so that they were treated equally."
Any move for Vettel would force Brazilian Felipe Massa out of the Italian team's set-up.