Vettel refuses to rule out Ferrari
But World Champion insists he will honour Red Bull contract
Last Updated: 17/07/12 2:28pm
Sebastian Vettel has again refused to rule out the possibility of driving for Ferrari, although the World Champion insists he will see out his current contract at Red Bull.
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On the eve of his home grand prix at Hockenheim, Vettel confirmed to German newspaper Bild that no agreement is in place with Ferrari, although he left open the possibility of a move to the Scuderia later in his career.
"I am honoured that (Ferrari Team Principal) Stefano Domenicali and (President) Luca di Montezemolo see a driver for Ferrari in myself," he said.
"There is no signal from me. I'm not signed, nor agreed with a handshake.
"But if you would ask the 24 drivers in Formula 1 if (they) would like a Ferrari career, then all would say 'Yeah, right!' And so it is with me also. This is just an awesome race team."
Reports surfaced in May suggesting that Vettel had signed a pre-contract with Ferrari for the 2014 season, a move that would see him partner Fernando Alonso.
Both Vettel and Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner subsequently denied the existence of any agreement, with the driver saying he could well stay put long-term.
"It has to fit on all sides," Vettel stressed. "Who knows, maybe everything is different and then suddenly I go somewhere else. It may even be that I never go anywhere else in my career, because there simply is no better package than Red Bull."
Vettel, whose current contract expires at the end of 2014, insisted: "I'm not going. I've almost grown up with Red Bull, we are a family, I like the atmosphere here in the troops."
The 25-year-old, who currently stands third in the Drivers' Championship, said he would rather "take care of this season" than think about his long-term future.
"This is crucial because I want to defend my title and that is hard enough this year," Vettel said. "Alonso recently said that he was first rumoured to have signed a Ferrari contract in 2005. It then took until 2010 before he became a Red. In between were five years. "
Vettel also denied the suggestion that the Ferrari rumours could be tactics in order to cause unrest at Red Bull.
Insisting there is "no trouble", Vettel explained that "my boss knows exactly how I feel because we deal openly with each other".
Last week, Webber extended his own contract with Red Bull for another season after winning the British Grand Prix. Victory at Silverstone placed the Australian above Vettel in the standings although the latter, who has yet to win his home race, denied that he was feeling the pressure.
"Mark and I may go for the title, the team support us both equally well, and he's gotten very good at the World Championship," Vettel added.
"But I firmly believe that the title this year is absolutely possible. A victory on Sunday at Hockenheim - and the world looks very different."