MAY 28, 2012
Does Sebastian Vettel have a Ferrari option?
World champion Sebastian Vettel is believed to have an option with Ferrari starting from the 2014 season.
Writing in the British Sunday Times, respected racing journalist Mark Hughes reports that Vettel's option came to light as Lewis Hamilton's management team, Simon Fuller's Nineteen Entertainment, investigated his options beyond the end of this season, when his current McLaren contract expires.
Fernando Alonso is committed to Ferrari until 2016 and Hamilton's team is believed to have been told that although Ferrari would love to have him, there is potentially only a single year deal available should the team decide to replace Felipe Massa for next season and the Vettel option becomes active in 2014.
Given Ferrari's difficult start to 2012, notwithstanding the fact that, post-Monaco, Fernando Alonso leads the championship, it seems unlikely that the double world champion would sign anything committing himself to the Scuderia unless performance clauses were in place on his side. The prospect of Alonso and Vettel in the same Ferrari team, is certainly a mouthwatering one!
Monaco winner Mark Webber has also been linked with Ferrari again in recent weeks. A one-year deal may well suit the Australian just fine, given that he is 36 in August and could see a year at Ferrari as a perfect way to bring his F1 career to a conclusion. His fine drive in Monaco, his second win in the Principality in three seasons, can only strengthen his case.
Another of Red Bull's ace cards is design guru Adrian Newey, who Ferrari has attempted to lure to Italy more than once, as yet without success. There is no guarantee that Maranello will not make further inquiries as to whether Newey's circumstances or his mind have changed.