‘Tis the season to be silly, fa la la la la la la la la.
You may have missed some rumour-mongering in the UK over the weekend. The Independent and the Sunday Times both floated a bunch of Ferrari and Red Bull driver changes, with Webber maybe replacing Massa next year, only to be thrown out of his new Scuderia seat just 12 months later by Sebastian Vettel. Left field time, heads up folks.
Nevertheless, Auto Motor und Sport’s interest was piqued, so they enquired with Sebastian on whether he had indeed wrapped up a pre-contract to partner Fernando Alonso in 2014. The defending twin-champ’s answer was brief, and perhaps a tad evasive, but the general gist was clear.
It would seem that someone might well have had some empty space in their newspaper. I have signed nothing.
This was only the brief, parting shot of an exclusive post-Monaco interview in German, an attempt to address these Sunday rumours:
“Insiders are adamant that the German has signed an option with Ferrari for 2014, subject to competitive form from the Prancing Horse stable for the rest of 2012,” said the Independent.
“It is not known whether the Vettel option is binding on either side, but if there is a one-year Ferrari vacancy for 2013, it strengthens the case for Webber being the man to fill it,” said the Sunday Times.
Words like “insiders,” “adamant,” and “it is not known …. but if” hardly instill one’s faith, do they?
Given how thin the initial reports appear to have been, it’s little wonder the bulk of the interview was focused on Monaco more generally. Vettel lamented the threat of rain and the front-runners’ decision to switch to a one-stop strategy, saying he might have done better if leaders had pitted earlier. Otherwise, he was at least content. Here are some highlights, as translated by my flawed self.
(Vettel)–When you start in ninth place in Monaco and the race stays dry, then you can be happy with fourth overall.
(Auto Motor und Sport)–Should you have gone even further on your first set of tyres?
–I had already been out there longer than anyone else with the first set of tyres. To stay in the lead I would have needed 21 seconds’ advantage over Webber. Three or four seconds were missing there. We all saw how the gap to Mark developed (after Webber’s stop). At first I was eight tenths quicker, but sadly it eventually reached a point where the tyres were too old to attack.
–Before the race a protest against the hole in the Red Bull floor was threatened. Did you drive with a fear of disqualification on board?
–No that fear didn’t accompany me. I had my fun and did my part. The rest is out of my hands.
–Why did you not attend the winner’s party with Mark Webber at the Swimming pool?
–I wasn’t in the mood for a swim and besides that I didn’t have a change of clothes.
Can we count that as two mildly grumpy young champions after Sunday’s race?