Ferrari apparently prefers Sebastian Vettel to Lewis Hamilton should the automaker ever need to replace Formula One racer Fernando Alonso, according to the company’s president Luca di Montezemolo.
Vettel, a three time Formula One world champion, has been linked with the Italian automaker several times during the 2012 season. There has even been talk of a pre-contract for the 2014 season, though the German racer has denied the speculation so far.
Yahoo! Sports reports that Montezemolo expressed his admiration for VEttel when speaking at Ferrari’s Maranello factory. The car company’s president stated:
“If for whatever reason Fernando Alonso were to leave one day, maybe because he wants to retire in Hawaii with his girlfriend, then I want Vettel. Sebastian is a potential Ferrari driver for the future.”
The Ferrari president also praised Hamilton, but made it clear that the company prefers Vettel over the Briton “because he’s younger and hasn’t been around so many times.”
Reuters notes that Montezemolo also complimented current Ferrari driver Alonso, who finished second to Vettel this year. The Ferrari president stated:
“I’m immensely pleased with Alonso. He’s more than a driver, he’s a key figure. He fits into the way the team work perfectly.”
Alonso, 31, is a double world champion and holds a contract with Ferrari until at least 2016. It is unlikely that Ferrari would hire Vettel before Alonso leaves, however, because Montezemolo previously stated that he doesn’t want to have “two roosters in the same hen house.” Instead, he wants to have two drivers “who race for Ferrari and not for themselves.”
Do you think that Ferrari is right to prefer Vettel over Hamilton, should they ever need to replace Alonso?