ROME: Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali has said that the Italian Formula One stable could welcome newly-crowned two-time world champion Sebastian Vettel from 2014.
Domenicali said that Vettel, whose contract with Red Bull runs until 2014, could easily work alongside current number one driver Fernando Alonso.
“Would Alonso accept Vettel? I think yes,” said Domenicali. “Fernando’s strength is that he’s afraid of no one; a strength that comes from maturity.”
Vettel had earlier revealed his desire to race for Ferrari one day. But Red Bull Sporting Director Helmut Marko has said that Vettel would not ‘drive for Ferrari just for the glory’, even if competing with the Italian team was ‘the dream of most drivers’. “Vettal is pragmatic,” said Marko, adding that the German would not leave Red Bull ‘as long as we offer him better conditions than the others’.
Ferrari’s second driver Felipe Massa’s contract ends in 2012 with Britain’s Lewis Hamilton also being tipped as a potential successor.
Pained Hamilton looks for answers
Meanwhile, the mysterious disappearance of Lewis Hamilton’s race pace has stumped the McLaren driver heading into Sunday’s Korean Grand Prix.
The former world champion cut an unusually subdued figure after last weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix, struggling to understand where his pace had gone.
“We’ve got far bigger problems than that,” he said when asked whether it hurt to see Vettel win his second title.
Hamilton said he was just ‘not fast enough’ and could not figure out why. “I don’t know why I wasn’t quick enough,” he said. “I was quick in qualifying in Japan, I just wasn’t quick in the race.”
Published in The Express Tribune, October 12th, 2011.
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