The one thing about Ferrari’s Luca di Montezemolo is that when he pays a compliment, someone is usually on the other end of that stick. In this case, Luca praises Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel while awkwardly skirting the issue of the tremendous driver they already have in Fernando Alonso and casting Mercedes driver, Lewis Hamilton, as a guy who gets around a lot. Luca was quoted by the Gazzetta dello Sport:
“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,” The Ferrari president said.
“Sebastian is a potential Ferrari driver for the future.”
Many consider Sebastian Vettel, Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton as the best drivers on the grid but when it comes to Hamilton, Luca feels he’s been around a bit. If he were to choose, he’d pick Sebastian:
“because he’s younger and hasn’t been around so many teams”.
It’s a bit of an odd statement and perhaps lost in the translation or context but Lewis Hamilton was a product of McLaren’s for his entire career and has only recently decided to move to Mercedes. Sure, Vettel has been at BMW Sauber, Toro Rosso and now Red Bull while Fernando Alonso has been at Minardi, Renault, McLaren, Renault and Ferrari…I could see where Lewis’s job-hopping is a concern.
As for praising one driver you don’t employ, you will need to address how you feel about the driver you do employ. While discussing Vettel and how he first heard about him, Luca said:
“It was Schumacher who pointed him out to me a few years ago, as he knew him from the time when Sebastian was still racing karts,” he added. “I have to admit Michael was right but having said that, I am immensely happy to have Alonso in our team!”
I should say so! Alonso is an incredible driver and narrowly missed beating Vettel in the 2012 championship in an inferior car! The guy is nothing short of amazing and Ferrari are very lucky to have him at this point in his career. All things given, I believe Alonso would have won the title in 2012 if the Ferrari had not been punted by Romain Grosjean at Spa and had Alonso’s tire flattened by Kimi Raikkonen’s fron wing in Japan. I may be biased, and I really do like Vettel and Hamilton a lot, but I believe Alonso is still the man to beat on the grid. He’s the current measuring stick and torch bearer but he is in machinery not fit to cope with Red Bull at the moment.