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JYS warns Vettel: Ferrari switch would be a mistake
Scuderia Ferrari
Posted By: James Allen  |  07 Aug 2012   |  2:31 pm GMT  |  141 comments

Sir Jackie Stewart has warned Sebastian Vettel against swapping the stronghold of support he has built up at Red Bull for a move to Ferrari to go up against Fernando Alonso.

Strong reports over recent months from respected outlets in the Italian media have suggested that reigning two-time world champion Vettel has some sort of agreement in place with Ferrari over potentially joining the Maranello marque as Alonso’s team-mate in 2014, although Red Bull chief Christian Horner, whose team announced last year that Vettel had signed a contract extension up to the end of the season after next, has insisted his star driver is going nowhere.

With the driver situation among the top teams for 2013 ultimately looking set to prove more static than many had expected going into this season, the Vettel/Ferrari 2014 speculation has nonetheless provoked much intrigue already – although Stewart fails to see the logic on Vettel’s part of such a move at this stage of his career.

Speaking in an exclusive interview in the latest edition of the JA on F1 podcast (listen in full here), the three-time title winner reckons that such is the position of strength Alonso has already established for himself in his two and a half years at Ferrari, Vettel would find it difficult to overcome that. Indeed Stewart suggests that the 25-year-old should really only consider leaving Red Bull when the team’s competitiveness started to wane.

Asked if he was in Vettel’s position would he take on the challenge of going up against Alonso, Stewart told the podcast: “No I wouldn’t. I wouldn’t do that at this time. I think Alonso’s far too strong for that. I think Alonso is so mature that he would see anybody off because of the relationship he has already built within Ferrari.

“I think it’s much better to let that pass for the moment and stay with Red Bull because he’s got a team of people that he knows intimately now who are really imperative for him to have and they feel that it’s imperative for them to have him. I wouldn’t break that mold at this time. In fact I would almost wait until I had a very bad year with a Red Bull before I would think of leaving.

“Then my option would be ‘who am I going to get who is going to provide me with what I need’ – and it may not necessarily be Ferrari.”

Stewart, nevertheless, remains a huge fan of F1’s youngest ever double world champion and is convinced the recently-turned 25-year-old will remain at the forefront of the sport for a long time to come.

“I think he’s remarkable,” he said. “He certainly was the most mature 24-year-old I had seen in Formula 1. Now he’s 25 and I don’t see the end of that coming – I think his mind management has had a lot to do with that. For somebody of that age to have the mind recognition to be able to discipline himself in such a fashion I think is extraordinary.

“He occasionally lets out one that he shouldn’t but then he grabs it back knowing that that is the wrong way to go. I think he is surrounded by good people: he’s still very good with his family, I think he leads a normal life in his own way in comparison to what he is as a world figure in sport. He’s held that down in a very mature way for a young man. I think his skill’s going to continue for a good many years.”

Hear more from Jackie Stewart and interviews with some of the biggest names in F1 in the August edition of the JA on F1 podcast. Download it directly here or via iTunes.

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I completely see where sir Jackie Stewart is coming but if you want to prove that you are the best driver in the world you need to beat the best driver in equal machinery over a whole season. Which is why I would have loved to see Webber go to Ferrari and Hamilton take his place in the other bull!


It does somewhat assume that Ferrari would be capable (or indeed willing) to field two identically-fettled, identically-backed cars for both Alonso and Vettel. Results since 2010 would suggest that - without intending to besmirch anyone at the Scuderia - this is unlikely to be the case. Barring an unforeseen dip in form from Alonso, he would receive the lion's share of the backing and the car would be designed with his style of driving in mind. Unless Vettel seriously believes he can break Alonso's position as focus of the Ferrari team, and it would take a Herculean effort to do so, he should steer clear as JYS says. Jenson Button expressed a similar point of view when responding to rumours linking him to Massa's seat, so it seems to be something of a consensus opinion in the paddock. Heck, I'd imagine if an opening came up at another competitive team tomorrow Massa would go for it, and I can't say I'd blame him.


Those types of scenarios are great from a spectators point of view. I'd love to see a Senna/Prost type of rivalry; it would bring some real theater to the sport. F1's popularity sky rocketed in 1988, 89 due to this drama. It was great!

But these days all the top teams have their appointed number 1's and number 2's and they don't want team mate rivalries to potentially damage their efforts. This is understandable but much less entertaining for us viewers.


They should change the rules so that only the lead car home can score full constructors points so it shouldn't matter which driver is in front for the team


It doesn't matter with regards to the WCC. The reason for one's and two's is for the WDC. Even though it is the constructor's championship that is worth the big dollars, people usually only remember who wins the driver's championship.

For example, this year it looks like Alonso is going to win the driver's championship but Red Bull will most likely win the constructor's. 2012 could be remembered as Alonso in a Ferrari even though it was not Ferrari who won the WCC.

Same thing happened in 2008; Hamilton won the WDC but it usually slips one's mind that Ferrari won the WCC - not McLaren.


Completely agree with this, Ben. Also, with all due respect to JYS (and there is plenty due), there is usually little merrit in most of this guy's media soundbites, he chimes in on all manner of subjects and is usually incredibly obvious or contentious for the sake of it.


Concur. Vettel seems to need to be in the lime-light, and does anything he can to get there.


Eh, are you sure you did not mean JB? He beat LH in equal machinery in 2011. Not to mention FA who did the same in 2010 & 2011 (and 2012), although in a slower to much slower package...


So you've obviously missed what's been happening this year (2012 by the way) where LH has beaten JB much more comprehensively than JB did to LH in 2011.


Based on what evidence Nathan?


Vettel would destroy Hamilton in a bull


Sorry, I seem to have upset you there...by mentioning facts...

Obviously, original poster was referring to "over a whole season". Unless you are thinking 2012 season is over, the latest "whole season" was 2011 (racing is suspended right now due to summer break).


He said the same thing about Button going to McLaren and look how that turned out. People keep doubting that Vettel is the real deal because of the speed of the RB6/7 and because he doesn't have a WDC team mate so why not go against the supposed best driver?

I'd thoroughly enjoy Vettel going to Ferrari in 2014 and a Vettel/Alonso line up. It's inevitable for him to end up at Ferrari.


Sir Jackie never fails to give a quote on the big rumours in f1, was my first thought. 🙂 But no surprises there, he's been around F1 long enough to be asked for his opinion on anything and quite rightly too!

And he is right too, who in their right mind would go up against Alonso.

Alonso is in the zone this season, and it's beautiful to watch (yes this season is turning me into a fan of his).


I don't think there is a massive margin between the top drivers in F1. I also don't believe that the Red Bull of this year, or last was a patch on the RB6 in terms of lap time dominance. Yes last season Vettel destroyed the pack, but his car genuinely wasn't as fast as it appeared - he flattered it. This is shown when you start looking that the fine margins, and lengths he had to push to, to take his pole positions. The natural advantage that gives, plus others fighting, then allowed RBR/Vettel to win many races. If you can't qualify the RBR car high up the grid you've got no a very tricky job with it, as it makes use of in corner speed, but has less KERS power than Mercedes/Ferrari powered cars. Converting that to lap time means that if you get stuck behind someone it's a considerably more difficult job to overtake than one would face in a McLaren or Ferrari. Now seems like a sensible time for Seb to think about a 2014 move to the most prestigous motorsport team on the planet.

Would I go to Ferrari alongside Alonso if I were Seb? The answer to that would be yes, Vettel is, in my opinion, the best all round driver, with the expection of Fernando. Hence Ferrari wanting him I guess!



Yes last season Vettel destroyed

the pack, but his car genuinely wasn’t as fast as it appeared – he flattered it.


From my observations, last year's Red Bull was just as good as the RB6.

You see it's off throttle blowing of gases gave it enormous amounts of down force that the Red Bull boys were able to open their DRS in corners other drivers couldn't even dare.

It was only towards the end of the season when Mclaren got their new DRS package that Red Bull were able to lose pole in South Korea (though this should have happened in Japan when the devise was introduced)

Also throughout the first half of the season Lewis kept saying the Red Bulls were untouchable and that's why he begun driving out of frustration.

Yes it's true, during the race the Red Bulls weren't that strong as the RB6 but the thing is on full tanks & soft tyres, those cars were mighty and if you add pole position to the equation, you have a scenario were Vettel had already built himself a huge advantage by the time the last pit stops were made.

So believe me, the Red Bulls were really fast, it's just Webber that didn't get to grips with the off throttle tricks & the Pirellis


I read somewhere though that there was also a strategy that RBR employed for each race weekend to ensure that they got pole. Supposedly, they ran slightly shorter gear ratios which benefited them in qualy but hindered them in the race with straight line speed. It ensured that they got a better run out of corners thereby enabling them to find it easier to build that gap early in the race to stay out of the DRS zone. I don't know if it's true or not but it makes some sense.


It isn't quite as simple as that. I think the 2010 car was more dominant.

2011 car was very fast in quali, thanks among other things to its rear end downforce from the EBD which allowed drivers to use DRS more in quali

So VET usually started at the front and if you could get a gap, break the tow, escape the DRS zone in the race you could build a race winning lead. Also staying out of another car's dirty air was important for Pirelli tyre life.

But on race day the RBR wasn't as dominant as in 2010.


"It’s inevitable for him to end up at Ferrari."

I don't think so at all.


All due respect to Hon,Mr Stewart he has done

a lot towards drivers sefty in F1, but lately

his coments are of yesterday man, and he should

know that there is not substitude for winning.

Vettel knows that energy drink don't last for

very long,and there is a "Monster" emergence

comming to the scene.


It's been there for a while. It's called Alonso!


Didn't he say the same thing about the Button - McLaren move??


Yes, yes he did.


I believe he did!


From my (arm chair expert) point of view, I would give Vettel different advise.

There's no better time for Vettel to join Ferrari than now based on stats i.e. No driver has won more than 2 WDCs with a Newey car.

So what this tells me is that Sebi is now wasting his time sticking around with the Red Bull boys for there has been a (discreet) power shift in the sport and more so after 2013 when engines will play a much more important role to a car's pace.

Now seeing as the Renault engines have a history of not being super strong as shown by their straight line speed, it appears Red Bull's better days may indeed be well and truly behind them.

Also, why I would advise Vettel to join Ferrari now is because it would give his reputation a much needed boost (especially in thoroughbred racers eyes) i.e. if he could match or beat Fred for as things stand, Vettel is not really respected in the fans eyes.

And yes Alonso maybe the loved son at Maranello but once Vettel starts sticking it on pole & vanishing from the front, Ferrari's love for Alonso may get tested.

Yes, the one thing I agree with Sir Jackie is on the point of Sebi's mind management, it's obvious he is so mentally strong as shown by his qualifying performances plus I also like the way he keeps his private life out of the tabloids.

So yeah, Sebi to Ferrari I say though I doubt it will happen because Vettel has already denied he has a contract in place ~ I don't see why he should lie.


I think your statistical advice is a wonderful start for decision making. So far one other driver (Hakkinen) has even tried to win a third championship in a Newey-led design. He only really tried once, in 2000, and now there is no Todt/Byrne/Brawn combination at Ferrari.

Vettel is hardly out of this year's championship. If he had not run into Nahrain (12 points lost) in Malaysia and had an alternator failure in Valencia (32 points to Alonso), he'd be in the championship lead.

Given the records Vettel has broken already, winning three titles is hardly out of the ordinary.

Re straightline speeds and Renault, you could consider the differences between the Lotus and Red Bull and conclude the Red Bull has a lot more drag, but generates more downforce. Renault got the better of Honda from 1991, Bennetton decided to ditch a championship winning engine for Renault for 1995. Renault's turbo engines in the 1980s were generally a match for anything Ferrari came up with, and Honda had to spend a lot of money to do better. The 2005 and 2006 engines were hardly weak. Where Renault let itself down as not understanding that an engine freeze is not an engine freeze immediately.

I think it is impossible to predict the engine performance in 2014 between Ferrari, Renault and Mercedes. There are many new technologies to get right.

Also, does Vettel see the need to boost his reputation, or what is in the record books? Would you want Gilles Villeneuve's reputation or Nelson Piquet's titles? Vettel likes his stats, and are we just going by the UK-centric English language reporting?


@ Martin

Would you want Gilles Villeneuve’s

reputation or Nelson Piquet’s titles?


Oooo this is an easy one!

Give me Gilles reputation any day for good reputations have a way of living on forever as they get passed on from generation to generation whereas some titles won are easily forgotten such as that one won by Gilles' son.

Regards the point of Sebi could still clinch his 3rd title this year, I say -- NO!

For not only hasn't any young two time champion not gone on to win three titles back to back

But also, with the exception of Massa in 2007, every winner of Bahrain has gone ahead to finish second in the standings come the end of the season (that includes Massa in 2008)


More exceptions to that - 2005 and 2006, Fernando won in Bahrain and won the championship too.


Also, does Vettel see the need to boost his

reputation, or what is in the record books?

Would you want Gilles Villeneuve’s

reputation or Nelson Piquet’s titles?


Lmao @ "armchair expert" tee hee hee

2 things,

1) Renault may not have the fastest straight line performance currently, but certainly back in the 90's their engine was class leading, Williams and Benetton dominated championships from 1992 through to 1997. The only anomaly being Benettons illegal 1994 car.

In fact, Renault were so good, Honda left the sport.

They won in 05 & 06 with a car that was developed for brilliant traction not top end speed, as engineers they are world class

2) now contentious point, for Seb to get pole and disappear, he needs a dominant car, which would mean Alonso would also be sitting in one. There is no way Seb is a better racer, if they qualified 1st & 2nd, he wouldn't be " leaving" Alonso behind.


@ Hero was Senna

for Seb to get pole and disappear, he needs a dominant car, which would mean Alonso would also be sitting in one.


Not necessarily!

Sebi just needs a good enough stable car to pull out those wonder laps, we saw this last year when his car didn't have an advantage i.e. Hungary & Abu-Dhabi 2011.

But there's no denying the fact that Alonso is a better racer but if the cars are fairly equally matched, this means there will be drivers in between him & Vettel on the grid, only strategy would get him ahead if Ferrari would prefer the number 1 driver to take maximum points.

However this too would cause headaches for Ferrari because Sebi just like Alonso are pretty consistent, thinking drivers


Is Vettel following in Schumi's footsteps or what? Vettel really is like a Schumi Jr. It's like the Schumi script is being reused all over again.

Both start with small teams, both move to non-manufacturer teams to win championships, then both move to Ferrari for a long stint? I hope the British fans are ready for 5 years of Ferrari/Vettel domination. Hey, don't be mad at me - that's what the script calls for!




I get the story but Scuhmacher had Irvine for company.

As it stands today, they would both be double World Champions. In fact who's to say that in 2014 the Ferrari pairing don't have 6 WDC's between them??


I'm sure you saw this, but what a priceless quote Button put out about Alonso, and the second Ferrari.

"He's created a great atmosphere around him(Alonso) at Ferrari with very good people. I'm sorry for Felipe, but I think Fernando has the whole team around him."

I went on a bit of a blubbering bender in the Kimi to Ferrari article. But there is one thought I didn't put down at any time.

Maybe, the agreement that Ferrari has with Bernie offers better annual payout than even Constructors Champion. Maybe it doesn't matter financially to Ferrari if they win WCC or not - they still get same sac of money. That could be one reasons why they don't appear as driven to me at least to get WCC> They are OK with one driver strategy and whole team around Alonso. That's why Massa - or any #2 Ferrari driver is so dejected, and it's interesting that others see it and are aware of it.


It's obvious that Alonso is on a mission. But let's keep Lewis' determination this season in mind as well. Plus both Bulls are in it of course.


Not denying it, merely putting forward a hypothesis


I'm scratching my head trying to work out which 3 time Champion might join Alonso if Alonso wins it this year, or which 4 time Champion might join Alonso if he doesn't win it this year?


Ooops bit of brain fade there. Thanks guys! 🙂


there are two championships to be won between now and the start of the 2014 season. marc


Bear with me.

2012 & 2013, FA wins WDC, so SV has 2, FA 4

2012 & 2013, SV wins WDC, so FA has 2, SV 4

2012 FA wins WDC therefore 3.

2013 SV wins WDC therefore 3

Ultimately in each of these hypothetical scenarios, if Vettel joined Ferrari in 2014, they would have 6 WDC between them


It is pretty much only Vettel fans that would say that Vettel is a better driver than Alonso, and Alonso has already been at Ferrari for a few years now and while this year might be his year, he has yet to dominate in a Ferrari. I can't see Vettel repeating Schumacher's feats even if he went to Ferrari, if for no other reason than there is a lot more good/great drivers to compete against.


Hmm, isn't he the same guy to who advised button to stay at brawn, and the same guy who said Nico Hulkenburg future was secured after his pole position, only for him to be dropped by Williams and sit out a year, and that Schumacher would win in his first year of his return!

There are numerous other occasion when he's been wrong, my advice would be to go ahead and join Ferrari, Alonso is alot less insure then he was at McLaren.

BTW What JYC is missing is that Vettel is a recent double champion, Probably vettel is thinking Alonso should be afraid not him!


Yep Alonso is at the peak of his powers, Vettel will be wanting to take him on now for that very reason, Vettels self belief is absolute.


As I recall he also warned Button not to go to McLaren, the lion's den where Hamilton was so much at home. Would Button have been better off with Mecedes today? I think not.

Tornillo Amarillo

Well, if Adrian Newey is still in RBR in 2014, I don't see any hurry for Vettel to leave RBR.

IMO Vettel could get Nr 1 status in the Nr 1 team-Ferrari, after Alonso'era, in 2016 I think or 2017.

But Perez will be before him!


I'm sure Sir Jackie himself wouldn't make that decision unless he knew exactly what Ferrari was putting on the table...

I suspect that Fernando is comfortably the best paid driver on the grid and I wouldn't expect Vettel to settle for less than absolute parity in salary terms.

Can Ferrari afford to pay that much? I'm sure Fernando would rather the money was spent on making his car faster!


Ferraris drivers wages are usually picked up by their silent partner, Marlboro

I do find it ironic to be honest. When Enzo was alive, he didn't pay his drivers anywhere near the top tier, it was an "honour" to driver for Ferrari and he would spend money on the cars. In much the same fashion, no driver had no.1 position, drivers lost races, the cars won them.

Yet due to the Schumacher dominating years, Ferrari has had their history revised into massive salaries, support 1 & 2 drivers etc etc.

Only Williams has ever shared that same philosophy through the years, which is why I think they have such huge support still.

I sometimes wonder if Ferrari are almost obligated to provide the biggest wages, as it transmits a silent message to the public, as in elite cars, stupendous costs involved and buying into a dream. Surely, paying their drivers the minimum would pull that illusion apart these days. How times have changed



But I don't think its only Marlboro. Look at that nice Santander sponsorship on the Ferrari - you don't think that covers the cost of Alonso? I think in the end Ferrari doesn't pay the drivers just like before. It's the sponsors that pay. In case of Santander - that huge sponsorship package (of which Alonso is a big part) is yet another reason why Alonso without doubt would be #1 in that team.

Look at that pile of cash following Moldonado - and suddenly, boom - a quick surpise Williams win. If there ever is a case that money buys success and preferential treatment this is it. If Massa brough in 30M in sponsorship money with him I think we'd find he'd suddenly be a bit faster too.


Excuse my reply, but if you honestly believe Massa is in the same league as Alonso... Well you know what I mean.

Alonso has proven repeatedly for years, just how phenom ally good he is, in my opinion, the best since Senna died.

He is constantly mentioned as the best or one of the top 3 out there.

Massa at his peak was never considered a great, just a very good fast driver, but even in 07 & 08, inconsistent. Any true Ferrari fan was confused by Todts decision to hire him, although nepotism played its part.

I'd imagine Santander contributes to Alonsos wages, but using that as an example, why do they still sponsor Mclaren, a team that Alonso left 4 1/2 seasons ago? They also have a huge prescence as race sponsors.


At the end of the day he's won 2 WDC's so I'm not taking anything away from that, but the fact remains if I made a list of the best F1 drivers currently on the Grid, he wouldn't even be in the top 5. I think he's only ever won 1 race not from the front row. Fact is he's in the best car, and has done a good job with it. He's a good driver, like Trulli, but nowhere near as good a racer as Alonso, Hamilton, Raikonnen et al.


Well that gave me a good laugh, if nothing else!


WOW, I wanna hear your top 5!!!







Ok seems he is in my Top 5, at number 5!


I'm having to assume your mention of MSC takes into account all his success, because frankly in the last 2 1/2 seasons, I wouldn't place him in my top 5.

How do we quantify greatness? If Prost returned to F1, would he place in the top 5 because of his records or because of his current driving ability?

I ask because forgetting any bad luck he's had, running into the back of Senna or being on the wrong grid slot in Hungary, that just would never have happened pre 06


"I think he’s only ever won 1 race not from the front row".

Interesting stat Itchy. Seems he won from Grid #3 in Sepang 2010 for his one and only 'non-front-row' win.

Who'd have thunk it.


This dumb comment from fans about Vettel not winning from the back is just silly to be honest for even Senna never won from lower than 5th so what exactly is the argument and I for one think Vettel does the job the way its meant to be done put the fastest car on pole and cruise to the flag other than mess qualy up in the fastest car then come through the field and people commend you nobody wins the championship that way.


Everyone is entitled to there own opinion but I reckon if every driver was on the market tomorrow for a 2013 drive seb and alonso would probably be the 2 drivers snapped up first. The 2 best drivers in f1 for me at the minute.


Call me naive, but I don't put that much stock into "don't go to team X where driver Y is established". If a driver has the speed, and the team builds a fast car, then he can deliver the results on track. Even if most of the team is 'behind the other guy', they can't push him forward when he's alone on in the cockpit.

Of course, it's a different matter if your contract says you have to move over for your team mate, but I don't think Ferrari will hire Vettel with such a clause in his contract.

Even Massa, who's being trashed by Alonso, is still receiving support from the team. I've seen no signs that suggest anything else than that they have been working hard to get on top of Felipe's problems. They seem to have succeeded in helping Felipe find some speed again, but it's not their fault that he keeps messing things up.


I wonder if JYS had a word in Senna's ear during 1987.

"Ayrton, you'd be crazy going to join Mclaren, that is Prosts team, you'll never beat him in his own team blah blah blah .."

I believe Vettel wants to prove he is as good as Alonso. He loves having all the records, which shows he is very aware of the history of the sport. In its own way, he knows that the public doesn't rate him as anywhere near the best, yet if he took FA on and was equal to, it would raise his profile massively.

On the other hand, Alonso would love the competition as it would prove conclusively he was the greatest of this generation. Everyone of these guys thinks they are the best, they do not do intimidated so bring it on


He would love the competition? I don't think Alonso's ever been about healthy in-house competition! He's always wanted and almost needed no.1 status in a team. When he wasn't in a position to demand that (2003 & 2004) he put his head down and beat Trulli, although you have to wonder about the 2004 season. Trulli was beating Alonso in the first half of that year (41-25 after the first 9 races), then went complete teats up after the French GP.

Why else would he have a veto on who his teammate was? (i.e. no to Hamilton at Ferrari)


At the risk of being disrespectful to my elder, wasn't Sir Stewart also advising Jenson Button against moving to McLaren? Didn't he further suggest that Button would never be allowed to out-score Hamilton? In fact, wasn't it Sir Stewart who suggested that Button would be walking into the "lion's den"? Strike three, Sir Jackie, you're out!!


Maybe that's why Grosjean refused Jackie's help in minimising his on-track incidents...


Jackie Young Stewart wrote the book when it came to profitting as an F-1 driver. Vettel should heed the words of wisdom and make his fortune at Red Bull, especially with Newey there.


And why would any driver want to driver for ferrari???

as long as alonso there,any driver would be his 2nd driver or (the server) if i should say

if i was a driver i wouldn't driver for ferrari even they want to pay me 100 millions

i have a dignity

i may not win the championship but i will be happy in any team rather to be a 2nd driver in ferrari

i know i will be offended

thanks in advance


yoh! bitter much ;-). Ferrari always support their best driver i.e. the driver with the best change of winning as was proven when Massa had to move over for Kimi and vica versa the following year. I think just about everyone would like to drive for Ferrari at some point in their career..just a hunch though.


Typo "...best chance of winning" not "change".


With that attitude, you would never have got to F1 in the first place. Self belief is imperative in top level sport, if you dont believe in yourself then you'll never succeed.

I know it won't make any difference to you, but Ferrari only ran a no1 & no2 driver policy between 1996 and 2006.

In 07, Massa moved over to help Kimi win the WDC, in 08, Kimi moved over to assist Massa, 2010, Massa moved over to help Alonso to fight for the WDC as he was so far behind in points.

Earlier in 2010, Alonso raged at Ferrari that he was losing points because he was faster, yet Ferrari never told Massa to move over.


well,if seb stays at redbull,he would be fighting for the title

but if he moves to ferrari,he would be begging ferrari to make him winning some races

so which better for seb???


It really depends on how much self belief Seb has in himself. Does he want to be the best ever statistically like MSC or does he want to be the best ever because he beat the benchmark in F1?

Personally, I believe Seb is arrogant enough and ruthless enough to take up the challenge.

I would never put Button into a greatest ever list, yet he chose to join Hamiltons team to prove himself against one of the best of this era. My respect for him has gone up 10 fold


Quoting Mark Webber???


not bad for number 2 driver



I'm sure alot of people's dignity will be tested even at 10M - Everyone has a number right?


Have never understood this thing of Vettel to Ferrari, if other than the fantasizing of Italian 'journalists'. Alonzo wouldn't want it. And after all he's done of late for Ferrari I can't see them wanting anything not supportive of his wishes.

And keen of JYS to muse that Ferrari may not be where SV goes next, if he ever leaves at all.


There seem to be some well connected Italian journalists who have a good record of getting the driver moves at Ferrari right. James is getting this directly from one of his colleagues. Mark Hughes wrote about this in Autosport a few months ago. His conclusion was that Vettel has signed a deal that is dependent on several factors, probably including something like Renault pulling out of F1 so that Red Bull doesn't have a competitive engine.


"If he had retired last year he would have done so as the complete hero, the dominant person," Jackie Stewart

I don't think Vettel is as scared of Alonso as you think you would have been Mr. Stewart.


Is JYS trying to win an award for stating the obvious? I can't imagine Vettel, or anyone else, hasn't considered the consequences and risks of moving to another team, where a dominant driver has moulded the said team around him.

Another reason for staying at Red Bull for 2014 is the change in engine regs. If Vettel stays at Red Bull, he can at least be confident of a competitive chassis.


Would that be similar to a dominant team of the 80's which Prost had moulded around himself?

Or would that be like Yamaha, Lorenzo joining for 2008 and taking on the dominant rider there??

The psychology of top level sports people is fascinating, they have complete self belief in their abilities, which is why I cannot understand JYS 's comments.


I recon seb for Ferrari, then Hamilton into redbull for 2014. Perez to ferrari with massa to sauber for 2013.


That means Ferrari leave Alonso out in the cold?


You honestly think Mclaren would let Hamilton dictate a 1 year contract?

Anyway, why would he want to join a fizzy drink maker?

Sadly, if there is any truth to Vettel rumours, Massa will be kept for 2013.

Personally I'd love to see Schumacher there for a season, he is still seen as a Ferrari legend by the press, he is probably signing 1 year contracts at the moment and would maybe give some credibility back to his career if he was competitive with FA.

I can't see it myself, A 5 years younger MSC ran from Ferrari when Kimi was signed so absolutely no chance joining aman he considers even better.

Also he could get Ferrari used to German again, make it ready for his friend Seb joining lol


Where is Alonso then???


That's what he said to Button going to McLaren and that didn't work out too bad for Jense!


Maybe not this season!

Andrew Flemington

Good retirement plan for Jenson but not good for his career. He was flattered by a wayward Lewis last year but is proving JYS to be absolutely correct this year. Jenson has proved that he was never WDC material without Brawn's DD advantage, and never will be again.!!


“He certainly was the most mature 24-year-old I had seen in Formula 1. Now he’s 25 and I don’t see the end of that coming – I think his mind management has had a lot to do with that.

JS forgotten how Vettel branded another driver as a "cucumber" and "idiot" when it was him who drove into others?

Then there was this passed-to-unlap thing at Germany where Vettel couldn't take it and smoked himself from within the car?

I don't think he's near the level of how he should act for his age, and certainly has a lot of room to mature and improve in terms of character.

Vettel off to Ferrari though, I don't fancy that. Though I'm sure that'll happen sooner or later. It's just a matter of whether it's during Alonso's time there or post-Alonso era.

Adrian Newey Jnr

Being WDC once (or even multiple times) can be put down to just being in the right car at the right time. Look at how Button, Hill or Villeneuve's WDCs are viewed. They were seen to be solid drivers, but lucky to be WDC due to having the best car. I'm sure these drivers hate that label seeing as how competitive they are by their nature.

I think Schumacher reset the bar when it comes to how drivers are recognised in their legacy. Its no longer enough to be WDC once. To be recognised as the best, you need to have built up a team from zero to hero. Alsonso recognised this when he first moved to McLaren and stated that he brought a second in additional pace, then moved to Ferrari to do it again. Perhaps Vettel sees this trend as well (but may not choose to go to Ferrari). Especially with all the doubters as to his ability.

We are blessed with having a lot of talent in the field with multiple ex-WDCs. Therefore how do these drivers set themselves apart in their legacy?


What a load of rubbish we found that pace was from the ferrari dossier


The best thing to EVE happen to F!...FA + SV


It all comes down to how long Santander will support Alonso & Ferrari. If there sponsorship agreement has a time limit, well then you can also link a new driver who can bring in new sponsorship. Full stop.


based on the current state of the spanish economy that sponsorship deal could be coming to an end sooner rather than later!


If Seb is leaving for Ferrari, then maybe he knows something we don't. Like maybe Red Bull is planning to leave F1 in 2014?


...having just accepted a position on the board of directors?


Sir Jackie is just stating the obvious at this point . I said it before why would Any top driver switch to Ferrari if they have a certain plan to make a driver like Fernando no1. If they are changing their philosophy and give Vettel equal rights to Fernando ie equal say with engineers, development direction, parts , even racing status - Go For it. Fernando definitely will have an advantage of 4years there. But then Sebastian had been working with a winning team and knows how to turn a car around very quickly. I think he is Defintely capable of giving Fernando a run for his money..But until Ferrari confirm equal status its all speculation and I would say don't go there. Perez should definitely get a chance with Ferrari next year and if he improves again in 2013 they may not need Vettel in 2014. Unless Fernando falls off that off that pedestal.!


Alonso would destroy Vettel at Ferrari. And for anyone who wants to dispute that, just consider he is struggling with, and getting beaten this season by his 36 year old journey man team mate. So imagine what Alonso would do to him? Vettel also struggled against Webber in 2010, and only got the better of him once redbull starting with the fancy EBD stuff, but thats none now along with Vettels 'magical' speed. Now hes just another good driver.

Horribly overrated by the muppet pundits and mass media and now they have egg on their facts. I remember I laughed so loud when Moss declared him the modern day fangio and Brundle said he was the best driver in the sport. Totally near sighted, and ignored the dominant machinery he had.


Sometimes it is too risky. Look at 2007 and Lewis vs Fernando. Sometimes it`s all about peoples ego, not only winning races.


Exactly ! Lewis was more than a match for Fernando. As pure racers no one can touch Raikkonen or Hamilton. Alonso just makes everything else around him work well too- this is why he is dominant ATM. But just watch what Kimi does this second part of the season now their getting to grips with the cars in Quali.


"Lewis was more than a match for Fernando."

This assumes they were given equal possibilities for whole 2007 season. I would say 2010-2012 standings suggest that statement is flawed.


One more point ... the other result in those last 8 races for FA was a 4th. And the no score was not mechanical breakdown, but driver error (aquaplaning at Fuji). So in the last 8 races, he was fourth or better at every race he finished.

Hamilton, meanwhile, had a 9th in Germany (Europe GP that year), a 7th, 5th, and 4th, for his non-podium finishes. Then the China GP where the team needlessly gambled on the tires, leaving their rookie out there driving on canvas. Then he lost drive in the next race. And you're implying that Alonso was being sabatoged? Much more material to work with the other way.


Yeah ... McLaren worked it so that Alonso would pass Lewis in the pits for 2nd in Australia, told Lewis to hold off when catching Alonso at Monaco, and who knows what might've happened had Alonso not damaged the car when trying to pass Hamilton at the start in Montreal? Alonso certainly expected to be allowed past at the next race in Indianapolis, and did some hand-waving to the pits after it was clear that would not happen. So yeah, let's talk about "equal possibilities".

The McLaren-sabatoged-Alonso conspiracy theorists point to the 2nd half of the season as when McLaren turned against Alonso. They mustn't have looked at the numbers then, b/c in the last 8 races of 2007 Alonso scored 2 wins, 6 podiums, and 1 no-score, to Hamilton's 2 wins, 3 podiums, and 2 no-score's.

I know McLaren haven't been the best at attaining their goals in recent seasons, but I'm sure they're more than capable of curtailing their own car if that's what they'd wanted!


I think this is different than Button going to Mclaren. As JYS explains Alonso is not only very quick and has Ferrari's full support he's also very mature. He also speaks italian, these things contribute. I think Vettel would be crazy to leave Red Bull while they are producing good cars. No driver in History has left the "best" team just for the challenge of driving against a rival.


JYS: still sharp as an axe!


A surprising number of rumours end up being true. Supposing Vettel has reached an agreement with Ferrari, and has persuaded Adrian Newey to go with him. That would be a very attractive deal for the red team, irrespective of what Alonso felt.


Hmm, good point - did not thing of that one. That would make Ferrari wanting Vettel more understandable for me.


Ferrari has historically always had a number 1 and number 2 driver, so that they can concentrate on really backing only one effort to win the Driver's Crown. Why would Ferrari suddenly change the approach they adopted over 40 years ago by pairing Vettel with Alonso? It makes no sense. My guess is that Ferrari and Vettel will one day join forces, but it won't occur until after Alonso has retired.


I wouldnt say that they have historically had no1 and no2 drivers. Only between 1996 and 2006 when MSC was there was that the case. Any other time their "no1" driver has been whoever was in contention for the championship. I always think too much is read into the "Fernando is faster than you" scenario. Lets look at the facts, Fernando was faster than him and was way ahead in the championship. At that point he was quite a way behind the leader (Webber I think) but by the end of the season only just lost the championship. If Massa hadnt moved over for him then he possibly (havent done the maths) wouldnt have been in contention at the last race, all in all the correct decision by Ferrari you would have to say.

The reason Alonso has found himself as no1 is because Massa has been so poor. Why this is I dont know, my fear is he was never the same after the crash. Theres no doubt he was quick before it, he matched and often beat MSC when they were team mates, same story when Kimi was his team mate even in that pig of a 2009 Ferrari.

Ferrari clearly have a lot of belief in Massa, I think most teams would have got rid after last season, he isnt even doing a good no2 bringing home the points job. I dont buy the lack of alternatives crap, the field is arguably the strongest it has ever been, the quality of drivers right down through the field (with some exceptions) is fantastic, theres plenty of options.


"He matched and often beat MSC when they were team mates"

I think you should really re watch 2006 season. Schumacher at the age 37 was much faster than Massa that he was easily out-qualifying him wit more fuel load. It would really a waste of time to compare race pace of two.

Massa was good to match Kimi thanks to his better qualifying performance against Kimi. Thats all.


I would say it's an easier decision to move to Ferrari for Vettel, than it is for another driver stepping in for probably 1 season only if Massa is replaced.

If you are Di Resta, Hulkenburg or another non sponsored driver is it really worth the risk? The opportunity to drive for Ferrari doesn't come along often, but you probably aren't going to fare too well against Alonso ... if you get slated in the press and lose confidence do you risk losing your place in F1 altogether for the sake of a season at Ferrari?


Hi James,

Something off topic if you don't mind(apologies if you have covered this) but could you comment/or do a piece on how the FIA police the 2 week factory shut down.

It would be pretty obvious if Ferrari test at one of their tracks, but are employees cars allowed to park at the factory, are designers, technical heads allowed to use laptops/blackberries at home? With RB sailing close to the wind this season aren't there so many ways to get around this rule as well?

And then there's Merc and Ferrari who have sports car divisions, isn't it possible to divert resources to them (I know RB have voiced their concerns within the RRA).

Apologies if I have missed you covering this anywhere, just interested.


How about Ferrari then. Why on earth would they want Vettel at all?

They already have the absolute best driver, as demonstrated once again in 2012. Now they need nothing more than a driver who will consistently deliver reasonable points. At the rate Alonso is delivering, Ferrari need nothing more, in order to win both championships, given the right package.

Vettel is certainly very fast, when given a very fast package - in other cases probably above average but not much more IMO.

He is very mature in his approach, especially to media - but will on occations behave inconsistently, say something but do something else, which does not help his credibility. He can also behave childishly on occations when things does not go his way, as in some of the events with Webber or when he recently demanded on the radio that the team "should do something" when he was stuck behind JB.

He is a very bad looser and IMO - given history his chanses of beating Alonso over a season are not great. Ferrari can end up in a situation where internal political battles take away focus from the most important task, i e develop faster than others and win more. Too much risk for too little value.

Vettel will probably cost more than another fast driver who has not won titles, but impact should be marginal since he probably will bring with him "nice" sponsors. Could it be the sponsors/german fans Ferrari would be targetting??


I beg to differ.. Despite Fernando's brilliance so far this season where are Ferrari in the constructors - they will get beat by Lotus at this rate unless their "no2" driver doesn't start scoring some serious points.. It's amazing how so many fans fail to see this! The Teams are so damn close to each other that Both drivers have to perform in an around the top 5 to be a chance at the constructors championship. This why Ferrari are now waking-up and looking for two top drivers!


"they will get beat by Lotus at this rate unless their “no2″ driver doesn’t start scoring some serious points.. It’s amazing how so many fans fail to see this!"

I do not think anyone is failig to see it - Massa should not be there - he has not showed he deserves the seat and what worse is - the trend is negative. Webber, the no2 (using your choise of words) in RB, is very much doing the job and RB is leading comfortably.

The point is, given Alonsos scoring ability, it is enough to have a driver that can score say half the points Alonso manages, in order to be up there fighting for the constructors (and drivers).

Current standings as example:

Alonso - 164

RB - 246

Difference = 82 (Had Alonsos team mate managed to score half the points Alonso have + 1, Ferrari would be leading both championships). Massa has scored 25 (!!), beaten by 13 other drivers.

Remember that the stats above are scored in a season when car was well behind top teams at start of the year and still is slower in dry conditions than other top teams. Imagine the situtation had they had a competitive car from the start...


You really just said it all with... " (Had Alonsos team mate managed to score half the points) .. You would expect from anyone in any team competing against their team mate.


I think switching to Ferrari, while Alonso is there, would be a mistake too, but we would love to have Vettel on board.


I'm sorry, but in the last couple of years I have lost quite a bit of respect for JYS. He's totally in love with Vettel, doesn't seem to regard Hamilton very highly, and Alonso is probably second in his book behind Vettel.

And all that from a guy who is his all time top 5 drivers, he has Clark (fair enough), Ascari (OK), Fangio (fine), Moss (hmm) and Prost!!! (yep, not Senna, Prost!!!).

Obvisouly the guy likes people with a team around them, who do their study in the weekend and are not exciting or attacking. Hence the absence of Senna, Schumacher and not having much of an opinion for Hamilton.

He's still a legend for what he's done for safety in F1 however.


With all due respect to Jackie Stewart, I think he needs to keep his opinions to himself. Vettel is more than mature enough to make his own decisions in life. Sure Vettel could be jumping into the lions den in 2014 by pairing up with Alonso, but that's a great opportunity to prove his metal, taking the fight to one of the greatest drivers of all time.

The sport has changed profoundly since JYS called it a day. His opinions lack validity each passing year in F1.


I think Mr McLaren78 is burning in the fire of jealousy.. Go cry to your mama...


James There is an old saying it is better to be an old has been than a never was been Sir Jackie has every right to make a comment about motor racing, I for one would rather listen to a has beens comments than a never was been. Now that is my opinion.

val from montreal

All of these drivers nowadays owe a HUGE thanx to the Regenmeister , Schumacher !!

Before Schumacher arrived at Ferrari , that team was seen as a freakin laughing stock ....

Nobody in their right mind wanted to drive for them ... All of the top drivers dreamed of Williams and McLaren ... Schumacher in many ways saved Ferrari ... He put ''pride'' back in the hearts of all those Italians Ferrari workers ... Some people think Gilles Villeneuve is the most loved Ferrari driver ever .. WRONG !! The most appreciated and respected driver in Ferrari's history IS Michael Schumacher ...It must be pretty depressing for Alonso each time he walks in the Maranello headquarters and sees those 100's of trophies that Schumacher won for Ferrari ... 5 titles , countless wins and podiums .... By the time that somebody comes along and repeats Michael's success at Ferrari , Montezemelo wont be alive on this earth ...

Imagine , in 1995 4 of the best of teams wanted Schumacher BADLY ...at any price too !

Williams, Benetton , Mclaren , Ferrari ...

Long live Schumacher - your the best forever !!



Schumacher is a real Legand.

Best of all.


For me, the way you get the titles is just as important as the number of titles.

None of Alonsos titles came from deliberately crashing into another drivers at critical stages in the championship. That is worth alot for some fans.


If I remember correctly, Hill tried to pass on the inside of a turn with a big concrete barrier. Schumacher had just made a mistake and was repositioning his car. It was Schumacher's corner as he was still just ahead by a meter or so.

Hill was just too eager to get through. Schumacher would have known that Hill was right there, yes, but the onus was on Hill to back off. Clearly the Stewards thought so as MS was not disqualified.

Regarding the 97 Jerez incident, that was a different story as it was a blatant attempt by MS to turn into JV. Thus, on this occasion he was disqualified from the WDC. I thought this was way too harsh; he should have been docked 10 points or something instead.

At the end of the day, Hill and Villenueve are Champions, but Schumacher is a Legend.


Schumacher had already broken his car in the earlier off when he clouted the barrier (as Pat Symonds himself said in a recent interview for Motorsport - he actually thought the damage caused the collision to start with...), so in all honesty he had no purpose still being on the circuit. One of his wheels was pointing in a completely different direction, for goodness' sake - he was not going to finish the lap, much less the race. The only reason, as far as I can see, for attempting to take the corner in those circumstances was as an instinct-esque action to stop Hill taking the title - an action which worked, granted, but one for which he should have been penalised in my opinion. Unfortunately, a certain Ayrton Senna made such conduct more acceptable with his Suzuka 1990 actions, so nothing was done about it. I say this as someone with no axe to grind against Schumacher - for my money, he is one of the best there has been - but with a desire to put things in their proper perspective. Both the 1994 and 1997 incidents demonstrate the less salubrious side of Schumacher's reputation and it is only fair to acknowledge themn as such.




Really who cares and Alonso has been involved in wworse scandals stepneygate and crashgate so what are you talking about also while everyone is praising Alonso might I add wait till the second half and we would see.


There is a big difference between "loved" and "respected" by the tifosi.


Of little consequence...

Either way they still buy Ferrari merchandise.


I don't understand why so many people assume Vettel will be Ferrari's no.2. Vettel won't sign if he is no.2. Vettel will most likely be clear no.1 or equal no.1 (quite unlikely) with all the updates, car development direction going Vettel's way. People mind Ferrari is interested in defending double World Champion Sebastian Vettel and not vice-versa.


Thank heaven for personality-cult syndrome...

Great gap-filler 'till the reality of Spa-Francorchamps.


You mean cult-of-personality? I agree, it's amazing how this generates interest. 🙂


The only reason for Ferrari to want Vettel now, it's to eliminate one threat, so it will be Ferrari (Alo + Vet) vs Hamilton. Alonso has been on his prime for 3 years now and there is a high chance that he will be in his prime till he retires, Ferrari can get 3 to 5 more years from Alonso, if they provide the car for him, he will win, they only need to look ahead to get someone to replace Alonso in the future, and by that time, probably there will be another rising star in the sport.

In my opinion they should get a solid driver to get points o get a young boy to learn the ropes from Alonso.

It will be very interesting to watch Alonso and Vettel in Ferrari, specially from the media side, I can imagine that the usual suspects will write a lot of nonsense if Alonso beats him fair and square...he is the nº 1, it's in his contract, the team loves him more and bla bla bla.... the same nonsense as with Massa.


I can bet anything on it over a season Alonso would not beat Vettel. As Alonso would not out-qualify him.


Stallion gp your comments does not make any sense

Mark webber easily matching and beating vettel this year and already done so in 2010 as well. Despite RBR's full support vettel is not showing he is a great driver


Vettel to match or beat alonso ? haha good joke

No one can match or beat the SPANISH MATADOR.

JYS is right because alonso will wipe the floor with vettel easily.

Alonso the best and greatest driver in thhe history of F1


On a somewhat different note, does anyone know if Michael Schumacher has much contact or influence at all with Ferrari anymore?

Has team personnel changed too much since his time there?

I was thinking he might be able to 'put in a good word' for Vettel. 😉


If Vettel joins Ferrari, it would be the biggest mistake of his life.. Because drivers like Alonso, Schumacher and Senna are famous for destroying the careers of their team mates..

Alonso has outpaced all his team mates, Trulli and Fisichella at Renault, Hamilton at McLaren, again Nelson Piquet jr. at Renault, and now Massa.. All are ill-fated team mates of Alonso..

Steward is obiviously true, Vettel should wait some more years before thinking to leave Red Bull, he doesnot have much experience compared to Alonso..

He needs to be patient...


There are two F1 headlines that make me not want to read the following story.

The first is confident ahead of . It's only news when a team say they're worried about it, the rest is just PR spin.

The other is "Jackie Stewart says....". I respect his acheivements but a man who seems so deperate to ooze class should learn to keep his opinions quieter and his advice to when it's asked for.

Never complain, never explain.


Na Seb just wants the best drive he can get and for the long term Ferrari is the best bet.

Of course he will push Alonso to his limits and possibly beat Fernando as well, that would cement his legacy.


Lewis Hamilton to Ferrari in 2013! You read it here first.

Stone the crows

Unless Adrian Newey goes with him I cannot imagine a reason for Vettel to go to Ferrari right now. They hardly seem to be on the acendancy right now, were it not for some herculean efforts by Alonso the Scuderia would be in trouble deep.


Yes! Finally someone writes aƅoսt quotes aboսt love and strength.

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