Ferrari deny reports that Sebastian Vettel will partner Fernando Alonso in 2014
Scuderia dismiss latest round of reports that Vettel will leave Red Bull
By Pete Gill. Last Updated: 15/10/12 3:03pm
Ferrari have denied Vettel will partner Alonso in 2014
Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo has denied reports that Sebastian Vettel is poised to join the team for the 2014 season.
Although the Scuderia are set to confirm that Felipe Massa will be staying on with the team, the expectation that the Brazilian will only sign a one-year contract extension has given rise to repeats of reports from this summer that the reigning World Champion has signed a pre-contract agreement to partner Fernando Alonso in 2014.
However, speaking on Italian radio on Monday, di Montezemolo has said that he doesn't want Ferrari to be destabilised by an in-house battle for supremacy.
"Today the problem is not with drivers. 2013 is still to come but I don't want to have two roosters in the same henhouse, rather two drivers who race for Ferrari and not for themselves," he said.
"I don't want problems and rivalries, which we didn't have between Schumacher and Irvine, between Schumacher and Barrichello, between Alonso and Massa or Massa and Schumi or Massa and Raikkonen."
Vettel himself has previously played down suggestions that he is preparing to leave the team with whom he has already won two World Championships and is set to claim a third.
"I've been wearing a Red Bull helmet for almost my entire career. It is difficult to imagine another kind of life if you are so used to it. It would be like when you turn 18, 19, and you move out of your family's home. I am very happy where I am right now and I don't want to move on to anywhere else," Vettel said in the summer.
Nonetheless, while Red Bull have also repeatedly insisted they expect Vettel to stay on, team advisor Helmut Marko has previously confirmed that the driver's current contract, which expires at the end of 2014, contains a results-based opt-out clause.
"2013 is fixed for us," Marko was quoted as saying in Bild. "For 2014 there is a performance-related clause in his contract - for him and for the team.
"It depends on the rankings in next year's world championships. If Vettel and Red Bull slip in the drivers' or constructors' championship, he could go."
Nor should Ferrari's denial be considered the end of the matter. In June, Stefano Domenicali told the team's own website that Alonso and Vettel were "both intelligent guys and they could easily coexist together". Meanwhile, as recently as last month, Montezemolo admitted to Sky Sports News that Vettel was the driver he would most like to sign.