Vettel signs Ferrari contract (12th Update) UPDATE #12 This rumor, first published in May 2012 (yes over two years ago) stating that Sebastian Vettel had signed with Ferrari, is about to become 'fact.' It was the first of many such rumors on AR1.com in the two years that followed.
12/20/12 We are bumping this rumor up to 'strong' based on positive Vettel comments in this news article by Luca di Montezemolo.
11/26/12 Sebastian Vettel refused to be drawn on whether his next challenge will be winning a title with another team after claiming his third with Red Bull. Asked about whether his next step in Formula One would be to win a title with "another" team, Vettel said: "I want to enjoy now.
"I tried to explain to you that for the whole team the most important thing is the present, I don't want to get carried away with next year or next years, I want to have a good time tonight and let's see how long... Sometimes at some stage you have to charge your batteries, come back in shape next season.
"I am with the team, I have a contract until the end of 2014, I am very happy with what we have achieved so far and this story isn't over yet.
"I am very happy and extremely committed to give everything I have in the next years and at the moment I don't see any point about seeing another team or something else." 10/16/12 The claim and counterclaims in the Sebastian Vettel to Ferrari saga continue with Red Bull the latest to deny the reports. BBC Sport on Monday stated that Vettel to Ferrari for the 2014 season is a done deal with Felipe Massa set to be a stop-gap for next year. According to the report, 'sources inside Ferrari say they have signed a contract with Vettel, 25, with an option to join in 2014 depending on their results'.
It added that Fernando Alonso 'sanctioned' Vettel's arrival having reportedly 'vetoed the idea of Lewis Hamilton joining the team earlier this year'. However, the Italian outfit were quick to deny the report with Ferrari President Luca di Montezemolo insisting he doesn't "want two roosters in the hen-house" as it "creates instability in the team."
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has now also dismissed suggestions that they could lose the two-time World Champion to Ferrari in a year's time. "Sebastian Vettel, without a shadow of doubt, will be part of the Red Bull Racing team in 2014," he told BBC Sport. 10/15/12 (GMM) Ferrari and Red Bull on Monday separately denied reports Sebastian Vettel is destined for the great Italian team in 2014.
With Felipe Massa set to be re-signed for next year, the BBC claimed in a media report that Red Bull's double world champion Vettel is probably Maranello bound for the season after.
Red Bull's Dr Helmut Marko told Bild: "That's false. That report is wrong, plain and simple."
The German newspaper said Vettel, 25, has a contract with Red Bull that includes 2014, but the deal includes 'get-out clauses'.
But Ferrari spokesman Luca Colajanni rubbished the Vettel link.
"It's not the first time this year we've heard it, and it will not be the last."
That's not exactly a denial, but Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo - speaking on Italian radio Rai - was much clearer.
"I've always said that I don't want two roosters in the hen-house," he said.
"I don't like that and it creates instability in the team."
10/15/12 This rumor is upgraded to 'strong' today. Double world champion Sebastian Vettel is set to join Ferrari in 2014, with Felipe Massa staying at the Italian team for 2013 according to the usually reliable BBC.
|Vettel and Alonso, teammates in 2014?|
Sources inside Ferrari say they have signed a contract with Vettel, 25, with an option to join in 2014 depending on their results.
The contract is likely to define a position Ferrari must occupy in the title race at a point in 2013.
Vettel's potential arrival at Ferrari has been sanctioned by Fernando Alonso.
The Spaniard, 31, has a say in the identity of his teammate and vetoed the idea of Lewis Hamilton joining the team earlier this year.
Alonso won the world title in 2005 and 2006 when at Renault but hasn't finished higher than second with Ferrari.
Red Bull driver Vettel currently leads the world championship by six points from Alonso, having won the title in 2010 and 2011.
Should it transpire, the line-up would undoubtedly be the strongest in F1 - with potential for huge friction.
Vettel and Red Bull have denied the German has any arrangements in place with Ferrari, and the team insist he is under contract until the end of 2014.
However, Red Bull adviser Dr Helmut Marko - the right-hand man of the company's boss Dietrich Mateschitz - has already said the contract contains performance clauses and if Vettel wants to leave, Red Bull could not make him stay. 07/17/12 This rumor is downgraded from 'strong' to 'speculation' today. Sebastian Vettel has denied yet again that a picture of his future would prominently feature the color red.
Asked mischievously by the German newspaper Bild if he has any red clothes in his wardrobe already, the 25-year-old answered: "Ok, I can guess what you are after.
"Well, I definitely don't have any Ferrari overalls," Vettel, who is contracted to stay at Red Bull at least for another season in 2013, added.
The speculation is rampant -- multiple media sources insist the German has signed some sort of 'pre-contract', while Ferrari bosses have been quoted as openly praising the reigning world champion's skills.
"I am honored that Stefano Domenicali and Luca di Montezemolo have said they could see me as a Ferrari driver," Vettel acknowledged.
"But that's it. The truth is that I have not signed, I have not shaken any hands.
"But if you would ask the 24 drivers in formula one if they would like to be with Ferrari at some point in their career, they would all say yes.
"It's just an awesome racing team. But everything has to fit," insisted Vettel.
"Who knows, maybe it will and suddenly I will go somewhere else. But it may be that I never go anywhere else simply because there is no better package than Red Bull," he added.
Vettel denied that he has already made plans beyond 2013.
"No, no and no," he insisted. "I really have enough to think about this season; the here and now is so crucial because it's already hard enough to defend my title this year.
"I cannot and will not concern myself with what is maybe going to happen in a few years. It is much, much, much too early."
He did not deny, however, that he has had some contact with Ferrari chiefs.
"There is always contact," he admitted, "but just because I stand in the paddock and talk with Stefano Domenicali does not mean that soon I'm driving for him."
And he dismissed suggestions all the Ferrari flirting could be a rival's tactic to destabilize reigning champions Red Bull.
"There's no problem at Red Bull," Vettel insisted, "and my bosses know exactly how I feel -- we deal with each other absolutely openly."
07/04/12 (GMM) Christian Horner, the boss of formula one team Red Bull, has scotched reports star driver Sebastian Vettel is set to switch to Ferrari.
|Christian Horner in denial he might be losing his star driver|
Numerous reports and sources have claimed double world champion and German Vettel, who turned 25 this week, has signed a 'pre-contract' that could lead to him moving to Ferrari in 2014.
"I can't see that," Horner is quoted by British newspapers, "because all contracts have to be declared with the Contract Recognition Board for a kick-off.
"I've also spoken to Sebastian about it, and he has made it quite clear he hasn't had any dialogue and hasn't signed anything with Ferrari, but I guess the rumor mill will always continue."
Horner dismissed the rumors as simply a part of formula one life.
"I think most of our team has been going to Ferrari at some point this year, whether it be Adrian (Newey), Mark (Webber), Sebastian, even myself at one stage was supposed to be going," the Briton smiled.
And after Vettel recently said he is happy at Red Bull alongside Australian Webber, Horner indicated the driver pairing is indeed likely to stay the same for now.
"They drive the car in a similar manner and it's important for us to have two drivers who do push each other to get the best out of each other," he said.
"So I'm sure over the next few weeks we'll sit down and talk about the future with Mark."06/28/12 (GMM) Yet another top F1 journalist thinks Sebastian Vettel could be headed to Ferrari in 2014.
Red Bull's reigning world champion, who has a contract for 2013 but escape clauses for the following season, recently denied multiple media reports that he has inked some sort of agreement that could lead to him becoming Fernando Alonso's teammate in 2014.
A full year before Fernando Alonso joined Ferrari in 2010, Pino Allievi - the authoritative La Gazzetta dello Sport correspondent - correctly predicted that move.
So where does he stand on Vettel to Ferrari in 2014?
"I think Ferrari has indeed contacted Vettel but I don't know exactly if there is an option or an agreement," the Italian told El Confidencial.
Allievi however said he understands the parties have agreed to push ahead "if at the end of 2013 the conditions are good for Vettel, in the sense that Ferrari is in the first two or three positions, and if they (the conditions) are similarly good for Ferrari".
"In other words, he would not go to another team, because the first option is Ferrari," he added.
In the meantime, Allievi said Ferrari is weighing up who Alonso's 2013 teammate will be.
"(Mark) Webber has been talking to Ferrari, but I do not know more than that. I believe that if Massa does some more good races he will continue for a year," he said.
06/26/12 This rumor is upgraded to 'strong' today. Reports that Sebastian Vettel is headed to Ferrari are back in the headlines. Italian television Mediaset's Italia1 channel, and the authoritative journalist Giorgio Terruzzi, claim the Red Bull driver will be Fernando Alonso's teammate in 2014.
|Sebastian Vettel Ferrari bound, will he take Adrian Newey with him?|
The report echoed the claims of British newspapers, who said recently that an agreement is already in place for 24-year-old German Vettel to drive for Ferrari.
The Italian report said Vettel's deal is for three years, until the end of 2016.
Terruzzi said that Alonso's teammate in 2013 will either be an improved Felipe Massa or Australia's Mark Webber, who would fill the cockpit for a single season before Vettel is contractually able to move from Red Bull.
The respected journalist said Massa or Webber would cost Ferrari only EUR 5 million in 2013, before Vettel earns fifteen million starting in 2014.06/21/12 (GMM) Team boss Stefano Domenicali has heaped fuel on speculation Sebastian Vettel could be headed to Ferrari.
While Red Bull's back-to-back champion recently denied reports he has signed a 2014 'pre-contract', Domenicali admitted simply that "one should never say never".
The subject was back up for discussion recently when the Italian sat down alongside F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone for an interview with German reporters for the Auto Bild and Sport Bild publications.
Ferrari faithfully republished the transcript this week, featuring an inquisitor telling Domenicali that Vettel should wait until Fernando Alonso's career is over because "two cocks cannot live in the same hen house".
Domenicali answered: "I think they are both intelligent guys and they could easily coexist together."
As an interesting aside, the correspondent for Brazil's O Estado de S.Paulo - Livio Oricchio - reminded his readers this week what Alonso thinks of Vettel.
Referring to the German's 2012 season so far in comparison to his meteoric 2011, the Spaniard insisted: "With a normal car, he's not a Martian."05/28/12 This rumor is downgraded to 'speculation' today. Sebastian Vettel has denied reports he has signed a 'pre-contract' to move to Ferrari in 2014.
Two British Sunday newspapers reported the rumor just ahead of the Monaco grand prix.
"Maybe they needed to fill up some space in their newspapers," the reigning world champion, who remains under contract to Red Bull for the foreseeable future, told the Austrian newspaper Kleine Zeitung in Monaco.
"I have signed nothing," the 24-year-old German insisted.
As for why he was the only missing team member when Red Bull celebrated Mark Webber's Monaco victory by leaping into Red Bull's harbor pool, Vettel answered: "I didn't want a swim.
"And I didn't have any spare clothes," he smiled wryly.
Vettel finished fourth, losing his championship lead to Ferrari's Fernando Alonso.05/27/12 (GMM) Two British newspapers on Sunday reported an explosive rumor about F1's reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel.
The Independent on Sunday, and the Sunday Times, separately said the Red Bull driver has signed a pre-contract to join Ferrari in 2014.
"Insiders are adamant that the German has signed an option with Ferrari for 2014, subject to competitive form from the Prancing Horse stable for the rest of 2012," said the Independent.
The Sunday Times agreed, adding that Vettel's current Mark Webber could also moving to Ferrari to replace Felipe Massa, but only for a single season in 2013.
Fernando Alonso's Ferrari contract runs until 2016.
"It is not known whether the Vettel option is binding on either side, but if there is a one-year Ferrari vacancy for 2013, it strengthens the case for Webber being the man to fill it," said the Times.