F1 giants cast eyes over Vettel

Vettel will soon become a very rich and famous young man

(GMM) A few dozen hours after Sebastian Vettel became F1's youngest ever winner, both of the German manufacturers involved in the sport have expressed interest in the 21-year-old.

BMW's interest is well known, after the carmaker supported Vettel through the ranks and gave him his F1 debut as a test driver.

"A year ago it wasn't possible to put him in our car, he was very inexperienced and you cannot gamble," said BMW-Sauber team boss Mario Theissen, who released Vettel to debut with Toro Rosso last year.

"It was much more important to give him the chance to develop in a team like this and he will do that for a few years and then we will see," Theissen added.

Also with a close eye on Germany's new F1 star is Norbert Haug, the boss of Mercedes-Benz's collaboration with McLaren, who reportedly made enquiries about Vettel's status last year when they were on the market to replace Fernando Alonso.

"Red Bull invested in Sebastian and now they are reaping the benefit," the German is quoted as saying by RTL.

"What happens eventually, you cannot tell now," Haug continued. "Anyway, we would never have talks like that through the media. But it is the case that the best drivers always end up with the best teams."

There is no doubt that 2008 in general, and Monza specifically, have marked the beginning of a lucrative era for Vettel. Willi Weber, who brought the Schumacher brothers into F1, told Bild newspaper the 21-year-old youngster could be set to make 100 million euros in the next decade.

The Swiss publication Motorsport Aktuell reports that, of the 20 race drivers, Vettel is currently the third-lowest earner, with a retainer of 600,000 euros — behind Kazuki Nakajima (650,000).

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