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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Vettel to Ferrari - Media Driven

How many times will we see this story being repeated before Sebastian Vettel finally signs a contract sometime in late 2013?  The story has already had at least three media incarnations over the course of the last year; this current run being the third.

First story, December 2011

No new information has come out since December 2011 when James Allen reported on a story in Gazzetta dello Sport suggesting that Ferrari had now a strong desire to get him to the team in 2014.

Luca di Montezemolo said at that time:
"Vettel is a brilliant driver, he's young, but seems very intelligent in the way he carries himself. He has a great future...let's see. I like drivers who use their head more than their right foot".

He followed that with:
"But it would be on condition that we don't upset the balance in the team. Today we have a balance, i don't want drivers who'll have a problem with each other".

The story was repeated in May and June of 2012 on a number of different websites including the BBC, where Andrew Benson stated unequivocally that:
Hamilton is out of contract at McLaren this year and Red Bull's Vettel is known to have a non-binding pre-contract with Ferrari for 2014...
It has emerged that Vettel and Ferrari have some form of pre-contract, which has options on both sides and which is dependent on the team's performance in 2013. The precise details are not known.
In May the Independent had said that:
Speculation has surfaced Vettel has already signed a pre-contract agreement to join Ferrari in 2014, a claim strongly denied by the 24-year-old.
Speaking to German newspaper Bild, Vettel said: "I know nothing about it. I've never signed anything."
Autosport kicked in with:
"I think they are both intelligent guys and they could easily coexist together," Domenicali said in an interview with Sport Bild and Auto Bild, extracts of which were published on Ferrari's official site on Wednesday.
Both Vettel, who has been linked with a move to Ferrari when his contract with Red Bull expires at the end of 2013, and Alonso are fighting to become the youngest ever three-time champion this year.
Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone, who also took part in the interview, agreed with Domenicali.
"That wouldn't be a problem: both are drivers who are always looking for a new challenge and to be in the same team would be a new and big challenge," he said.  They would both think they can bear the other one, as they are sure of themselves and Stefano would do what was required to so that they were treated equally".
The story ran in various guises for over a month.

Third Story, October 2012

And now we have the same story again in October 2012 and once again it's prevalent so I don't particularly need to reference any particular source.  It seems to be running on a 5 monthly cycle, December 2011, May 2012 and now October.  It's as if the media are looking back and wondering if they can get away with it again.

A lot of guys are blaming the BBC for rehashing the story however the latest timeline for the story makes it impossible to gauge exactly where it began.

Personally, I'd like to put the whole thing to bed until Eddie Jordan makes a statement - but I'd refer you all to two ESPN stories in 2010 one quoting Sebastian and the other quoting Luca

Vettel to Ferrari 2010?

Sebastian's quote in November 2010:
"No question, it is my wish and goal to drive for Ferrari one day," Vettel told Sunday's Bild am Sonntag. "Or Mercedes, another legendary brand. But right now I'm happy. I have two more years of contract with Red Bull and we have big plans."
Luca in December that year:
"Sebastian is fast, intelligent and young," the Ferrari president told Cologne tabloid Express. "He will drive a red car sooner or later."
and that story also quotes Dietrich Mateschitz:
"Seb wants to drive for Ferrari some day. We will make it as difficult a decision for him as possible."
I leave to you to make your own mind up.