Vettel announced as Alonso’s replacement at Ferrari

2015 F1 season

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Ferrari have confirmed Sebastian Vettel will take Fernando Alonso’s place at Ferrari next year.

Alonso has cut short his contract with the team by two years, while Vettel’s departure from Red Bull was announced during the Japanese Grand Prix weekend.

Vettel will take his place alongside Kimi Raikkonen from next season as he begins a three-year contract with Ferrari.

“The next stage of my Formula One career will be spent with Scuderia Ferrari and for me that means the dream of a lifetime has come true,” said Vettel.

“When I was a kid, Michael Schumacher in the red car was my greatest idol and now it’s an incredible honour to finally get the chance to drive a Ferrari.

“I already got a small taste of what the Ferrari spirit means, when I took my first win at Monza in 2008, with an engine from the prancing horse built in Maranello. The scuderia has a great tradition in this sport and I am extremely motivated to help the team get back to the top. I will put my heart and soul into making it happen.”

Ferrari team principal Marco Mattiacci said the team “has decided to put its faith in the youngest multiple champion in the history of Formula One”.

“In Formula One terms, Sebastian Vettel is a unique combination of youthfulness and experience and he brings with him that sense of team spirit which will prove invaluable when, together with Kimi, they tackle the challenges awaiting us, as we aim to be front runners again as soon as possible.

“With Sebastian, we all share a thirst for victory as well as enthusiasm, a strong work ethic and tenacity; key elements for all the scuderia members to write a new chapter in the history of Ferrari.”

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Image © Ferrari/Ercole Colombo

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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86 comments on “Vettel announced as Alonso’s replacement at Ferrari”

  1. I had first dreamt of this when I heard the German and Italian national anthem at Monza 2005. 6 years it has taken. But finally they unite. Wish Seb all the good luck.

    1. Rome-Berlin Axis WWII.. :-)

      1. The axis worked quite well with Schumacher :-)

    2. Why 2005? In 2008 Vettel won for STR which is Italian team.

      1. @nin13 I believe sumedh meant to say 2008. It matches with “6 years it has taken” also.

    3. If Seb wins next year and I hear those two anthems together, I’m not sure I’ll be able to hold my tears.

      1. We’re on the same page on this one

        1. +2!!!

          by far the best anthem combo! it will bring back memories of the schumi years.

    4. Finally Ferrari has started to turn the table. Ferrari has been my team for as long as I can remember, but had lost much of it appeal over the last 5 years. I think the problem with Alonso is that he takes too much space, there`s hardly room for the rest of the team. Alonsos ego became the most important thing and that will wear a team down given enough time. Team Ferrari was slowly becoming “Team Alonso” and nothing good came of it.

      As for Vettel I think he will be a great driver for Ferrari, cast in the mould of Schumacher. He has proven over time that he is capable of developing a car into a winner. And when he first gets on top he stays there.
      A lot of people are making a big deal about Vettels season compared to Ricciardo this season, claiming this shows Vettel is not that great. I disagree for several reasons.
      Firstly i think we all have to accnowledge that Red Bulls driver programme is something special. Just look at these guys, practically every single one of them is a future World Champion. Ricciardo has proven his worth, Kvyat is probably going to give Ricciardo a real run for his money next year and Verstappen can very well be the next truly great in F1 (I think he will be, did anybody see his damage limitation at Macau?).
      Secondly Vettel has held his own well against Ricciardo in the second half of the season as he got to grips with the car a bit better.
      Then there`s Vettels driving style. I understand why he`s been struggling this season as this seasons cars suited another type of driver. The Technology is new and will benefit the classical racer and the late brakers of this world. Ricciardo is a prime example as he`s got a wonderful classical style and wonderful lines through corners. A very robust style that will work with most cars. Rosberg is another example, he`s also a very classical driver (probably the reason he`s been able to be as Close to Hamilton as he has this year, I expect that to change as the technology gets more mature and drivers can start to exploit their more Extreme qualities). That brings me to Vettel whose extreme qualities are not wll suited to the new crude technology. His fortè is through slow and medium speed corners where he is able to gain a lot of time out of corners. But he needs a car that is planted under braking and a PU that delivers the power in a seamless and predictable way. This will be improved as the techology matures. When Vettel reaches the point where these conditions are in place I think he will benefit more from his driving style with the New PU`s than he ever did with the old V8`s. The new PU`s have more torque than the V8`s did, a good exit with the new cars will give a bigger reward than it did with the V8`s.

  2. petebaldwin (@)
    20th November 2014, 10:29

    Really good move for Vettel. He is struggling against Ricciardo and a new challenge is the right thing for him now.

    F1 isn’t all about which driver is the quickest. It’s about how the car feels to the driver, what confidence it gives them to push the limits, how their technical feedback is understood by the team and much more.

    You could put Vettel and Ricciardo in a Red Bull and Ricciardo appears to be faster. Put them both in a Ferrari and it could suit Vettel more. That’s why moving teams and adapting is such a hard thing to do and why it is neccessary to prove that you are one of the greats.

    I does make me smile though thinking of all the Ferrari fans who complained that Alonso was a much better driver and that Vettel was useless and only won because he had a much better car than everyone else (including his team mate). How do you feel about this news? :D

    1. Not sure, he’s fared a lot better against Ricciardo recently.

      1. Yep, he’s looking pretty good lately especially now that his car is reliable enough to complete races consistently.

      2. @brum55 Only in Brazil. Ricciardo’s been quicker in all races besides Malaysia, Singapore (but he was battling a problem) and Brazil. They had similar pace in Japan and Sochi though.

    2. I think most Alonso fans are relieved that he is leaving. Vettel is very good, but a massive part of his success was due to his car – that’s F1.

      1. If it was all car then what does that make Webber? If the driver has the best car he can not do any better than win…

        1. Looking at Ricciardo jump into a new formula and a new car and stand up to Vettel so well, all I can say is Mark Webber wasnt so bad for a no. 2.

          1. to be fair, with all the changes this year, they were both getting in a “new” car.

          2. OmarR-Pepper (@)
            20th November 2014, 12:56

            @austus in my opinion, it isn’t that Vettel “imploded” against Dan. It is Dan who is the prodigy of this new generation. He made the two Silver Arrow guys look so “common” in Hungary. Give him a. more competitive car and you will see tje next new world champion.

        2. @socksolid let’s be fair here. I’m a Vettel fan, but fact is that when you clinch a title, a big part of it is always, always due to the car. You don’t win titles in a slow car.

        3. i with you on this one. If you’re saying vettel is only good with the car he had, then you are forcing yourself to say webber was a crappy driver who could never win a title unless you handed it to him.

          1. We will see if Alonso becomes Nigel Mansell part 2 in McLaren and early exits the team when the car doesnt give good performance. Only leaving Ferrari for earning more money… I think it was a very stupid decision.

      2. I wouldnt be so happy after confirmation that he is leaving because he will earn more money. If i were his fan i will be very very sad. First because he said McLaren cheated him and that played dirty tricks, and that he will never return to McLaren, and his fans made a party when he leaved McLaren. So returning to the most hated team in Spain, i think fans wont be happy. Second because McLaren is a team without guarantees, he only looked at money, because Honda engine will need serious development, McLaren will need serious aero development. Will have better car than Ferrari? McLaren hasnt have better car than Ferrari in years, only in 2007 had better car and because it was a copy of Ferrari designs.

    3. Honestly I would take Alonso any day of the week, saying that, Vettel is a brilliant alternative and I could only think of Hamilton as the only other driver capable of filling his shoes. Vettel is a very particular driver, he works well when the car is developed for his driving style (which is similar to Kimi’s) so this gives the team a clear direction to design the car in. Whilst I would still say Alonso is a better driver if Vettel could win a Championship with us I think that will sway in the eyes of history.

      1. I was never a Ferrari fan before Alonso joined but now I quite like them and hope they don’t continue on this current downward spiral.
        With Alonso leaving, Vettel is a great replacement. Allison was able to design a car to Kimi’s liking so I’m sure he can do the same with Vettel.

        1. @brum55 Allison had nothing to do with the current car and the F14T is nothing to Kimi’s liking what so ever.

          1. @optimaximal
            the F14T is designed by Pat Fry and Co
            Allison first baby is Ferrari 666. Lets see how it goes

    4. @petebaldwin – “It’s about how the car feels to the driver, what confidence it gives them to push the limits, how their technical feedback is understood by the team and much more.”

      That is a huge key factor and especially starting with 2014 with the PU changes. For example, Kimi had a the PU change and team/chassis changes to deal with. He and Vettel both have not forgotten how to drive, but the cars changed underneath them and they are adapting. Let’s hope that Ferrari can improve and build a car that suits the style of their drivers. This is a good move for Vettel and Ferrari.

      I’m hoping that Ferrari, Red Bull and McLaren can all improve with their car and driver changes to take the battle to Mercedes.

  3. dominoes are finally starting to fall…

  4. Wow poor Ferrari

    1. WOW poor Seb…

  5. What I’m most looking forward to now is Vettel’s helmet design without the giant Red Bull logo on the side. I’m sure that will give him more freedom in design, conspiracy theorist may say thats why he left ;)

    1. @giggsy11
      I think it will be blue and white which he used most of times but lets say what he will do

      1. I reckon he might go with something red similar to what Shumi did in the mid 2000 season.

        1. @giggsy11
          if he does that then it only shows how much he idolises Schumi

        2. @giggsy11 Schumacher went to the Red design because his old red, white and blue design was too easily confused with Barrichello’s, so he opted to change it.

    2. I think he’ll keep having at least one new design each weekend, so if you don’t like it, there’ll be another one along soon!

      1. @bullfrog Originally, Vettel only changed his helmet whenever he won a race. Of course, he’s been changing them a lot this year too.

    3. I’m guessing perhaps the colours of the region of his birth – so blue and red?

  6. Here is something that just came to my mind: Did the Schumacher accident played a role in Vettel’s move to Ferrari.

    We know he is friends with Micheal, he was his idol, he is very fond of the sport’s history. I’am just wondering, how his mind works.

    I think if I were in his position, it would have affect me.

    1. Seb’s quotes in the article reference the fact that Michael was his hero, and this was clearly a big factor in the decision.

      1. I’m sure Seb admires Schumacher greatly and also the Ferrarri team, but did he think last year “Michael Schumacher has had a life threatening accident, I think I’ll join the Scuderia”? No he didn’t. The move has evolved at an opportune time, the biggest factor being Alonso deciding he’s had enough failure

    2. @mateuss I don’t think it played a huge part. After all, he’s always wanted to go to Ferrari (as early as 2008, in fact), and was always planning to race there at some point. The moment the #1 seat opened up, Seb was looking for where to sign…

      1. @journeyer I don’t think it playing a role in him wanting to move to Ferrari, but in making the decision so quickly.

        We are kind of used to the idea now of Vettel leaving Red Bull, but let’s not forget, that when the decision was made, Vettel had just won 4 WDCs on the trot with RBR.

        Even now, he is still the current champion with the team. It’s not easy to walk away from something like that.

        Let’s contrast that with Hamilton. People were very surprised by his move away from McLaren, for a lot of the same reasons. Both Vettel and Hamilton were brought up with the support of their teams and had/have been with them for a very long time.

        The difference is, Hamilton’s decision can be explained as purely rational. He had some success, 1 WDC in 08, many wins, but most of the latter part of their relationship can by described as missed opportunities. He could have won in 07, had slow car in 09, had the fastest car in 12, but bad teamwork, reliability etc.

        He was making a move to a team, that had just dominated 09, was bought up by a big manufacturer and was trending upwards. Plus the engine situation was promising to be more favorable for the big manufacturer team as opposed to a customer team, McLaren.

        Contrast that with Vettel. The beginnings are similar,but his years at the big team has only been trending upward. Only slightly missed the championship in the first year, won it in the second, then again, then again and then again in the most dominant fashion ever.

        Now there is a the biggest change ever in regulations and Red Bull experience a slight dip in form.

        He then decides to move to a team, who has been trending downward for years now and shows no signs of some improvement.

        My point is, I don’t see any cold, factual reason for the move to Ferrari, except for, “I always wanted to be at Ferrari, life is short, you have to take your chances!”, kind of thinking. Which would be promoted by a strong reminder of ones mortality as a result of the recent accident to a person he can strongly identify with.

        The assumption I’am making though, is that winning is important for Vettel.

        1. @mateuss
          Nice write up buddy
          I think Vettel got an opportunity window araised at Ferrari and he took it.
          And as you said Winning is what Vettel wants and he believes that Ferrari will deliver the tools he needs to win the races.

        2. I think it is a perfectly natural decision that Vettel has taken to move to another team, he has been incredibly successful with Red Bull and the relationship has run its course. Don’t forget either that Adrian Newey is taking a step back from the F1 operations and there is no guarantee Red Bull will be producing the best cars in future (although with their resources it would not be a surprise if that were the case). His motivation is clearly not as high as it has been this season, he needs a fresh challenge to revitalise himself.

          Several drivers have done similar things to Vettel previously too, not only Schumacher who don’t forget was double reigning champion and left to Ferrari in the doldrums, and Hamilton. Emerson Fittipaldi was a 2X WDC and decided to go to his brother’s team; now that didn’t work out of course but he needed the new challenge. Valentino Rossi in MotoGP took a huge risk in 2004 by leaving Honda to go to Yamaha, who hadn’t won a title for over a decade, but he made it work. Even Jacques Villeneuve was somewhat similar when he went to BAR, although perhaps the paycheck was the biggest draw there.

  7. I started watching F1 properly in 2010, so for me Alonso is synonymous with Ferrari, and Vettel is synonymous with RB. This is going to be a bit of a shake-up, seeing them in different colours, to a lesser degree it was also Hamilton with Mclaren, but Mercedes and Mclaren have usually been associated with each other anyway, and he’s still wearing silver/white. Forget the V8s or whatever, for me the new era starts now.

    1. I remember thinking how weird it was when Schumacher moved to Ferrari and Alesi to Benetton back in 96.

      1. Yeah! I can imagine. Although with the Red Bull drivers’ mad crazy helmet designs I still won’t be able to tell it’s actually Daniil driving.

      2. +1 I was annoyed by that at the time. I was hoping for Schumacher/Alesi for the Ferrari team in 96…sort of like how I was hoping for a Vettel/Alonso team for 2015 :) Vettel/Raikkonen will certainly be interesting, though.

    2. that’s how i felt when Hamilton left McLaren. The 2007 Australian GP got me hooked on F1 over sports cars and I was a Hamilton/McLaren fan from the start. I didn’t know what to think at the start of 2013 although McLaren’s problems made it easy.

    3. I started following F1 in 2012. Never seen Alonso in any color but red or Seb without RB logo. I might need a little time getting used to next year.

    4. Funny how that works. Alonso is *still* Enstone to me, back when it was Renault. His first win at the Hungaroring is still very special to me.

  8. Ferrari are one of those parts of formula 1 who are apparently stuck in 1970. Why do they consider this an announcement, when everybody has known for weeks, and the driver has already talked about it?

    I can just picture some proud Italian, sitting behind a his mahogany desk, thinking “nobody knows anything until I send this fax”, and shuffling paper around until they’re good and ready to do so.

    Dear proud Italian : kids with smartphones know what you’re announcing before you’ve even pressed the buzzer for your secretary to come in and take dictation. Make the announcements when the speculation is taking place, then at least it looks like you’re in control.

    1. Can you say for sure where Alonso will go? Don’t weight your knowledge on rumors.

      1. To McLaren, duh!

    2. @hairs

      Why do they consider this an announcement, when everybody has known for weeks, and the driver has already talked about it?

      Ferrari and Alonso were locked in negotiations over severance. If they had announced Vettel before announcing Alonso had left, they’d likely open themselves up to a huge financial issue (see: Sauber). Also, if Alonso announced his move first, they wouldn’t have to pay him a penny (and could probably fine him for breaking from his remaining two years).

      1. If there were a legal impediment which could have stopped an announcement to the effect that Alonso was leaving “terms to be agreed” then they wouldn’t have been able to sign Vettel in the first place.

  9. What fascinates me is that nowadays Ferrari’s strong position in the market relies on “this is my childhood dream” because of all the “history” and “tradition”, instead of saying: “this is the best place because they are the best”, drivers look for a challenge in Maranello.

    Which can go both ways. They either get on with it and build proper racing cars, or fail for half a decade, as was the case with Alonso. Which I’m sure enjoyed a lot in Maranello, but not on the track…

    Good look Seb, managing the italian media, and the rubbish cars that are surely waiting for you…

    1. @fer-no65 to be fair that’s the way it was when Schumi came as well….and they didn’t quite die out or anything like that……

    2. @fer-no65 That has always been Ferrari’s position – regardless of where they are in the field. While they won a lot of titles, outside of 1952-53, 1975-79, and 2000-2004, they have actually been very spotty in terms of how long they reigned as champions.

      1. Bingo. And I can’t help but laugh at the great drivers who are lured like a moth to flame. Have fun with some mediocre cars…

        1. @journeyer @joey-poey exactly… and we’re getting to a point where history is elsewhere aswell. Maybe in the late 80’s one could say: “oh, Ferrari…” Like the Lotus of the time.

          But nowadays… Maybe it’s got to do with the tifosi? but McLaren and Williams have an incredibly strong heritage aswell…

  10. So he just wants to emulate Schumacher? Lots of sulking, lying and cheating…he’ll fit right in!

  11. tgu (@thegrapeunwashed)
    20th November 2014, 11:53

    I’m looking forward to this. Seb is better than his final year at RB might suggest, both he and Ferrari have a lot to prove. I reckon he’s good enough to do it.

  12. Bad chassis, bad engine, Vettel hasnt been so good this season, the less is said about Raikkonen the better, their team principal is a salesman. If Vettel cant drag the car into the points like Alonso did, Ferrari will be racing Force India from now on.

  13. I don’t know why Mattiachi was going on about Seb being a team player. He obviously is no such thing, nor is Kimi. The top drivers generally are not, I don’t know why a TP would even aspire to having a team player.

    Anyway I’m glad Vettel has moved, I respect him for it and it’s good for F1. As a non-Ferrari fan I’m looking forward to the developing relationship. I think it will be a lively one.

    1. A lot of the time I don’t even bother reading the contrived media drivel that gets released in these press statements @lockup . Always sounds like their PR people have written the statement, not them

  14. As much as I found him insufferable when he was winning with RedBull, there would be a poetry to Vettel leading Ferrari back to glory – probably in part because he could be just as insufferable as Michael was in his heyday : P

  15. I agree that Vettel is the right choice but for those who say that Hamilton is the better choice? in what world? cause he is a WC and about to win another WC? haven’t anybody remember that he won in Mclaren with a car that you can win with one arm tied behind this his back.. and don’t get me started about this year… Winning a WC in a car that is consistently a second faster than the rest. If you have high regard about Hamilton then say the same with Button, he matched Hamilton in Mclaren. So please don’t put Lewis in the same league as Alonso, Vettel, Schumi or Mika.. he is far from it.

    1. What his car was not dominant atall in 08. Haha you say Alo? I must have missed their stint in 07…. Hamilton has proved his greatness many times. This year you are right his car is dominant but 08? Haha you ovi do not like Hamilton. Still holding onto more points i see, fact is 2-1 to Hamilton vs Button. Unlike Vet who will leave Rbull 0-1 vs Ric Ham has never lost vs a teammate.

    2. Really? In 2007 and 2008, the Ferarri and McLaren were pretty much even. The balance swung one way to the other from track to track. Though I always wish Hamilton won 07 instead of 08, he still earned it fair and square. By no means were either years “easy”. Also, in 2008, BMW were pretty strong. And don’t forget his imperious wet weather driving in both years!

  16. Time for me to follow @ScuderiaFerrari on Twitter I guess :)

    1. @paeschli
      I think lot of people already did that ;)

  17. I’m gonna laugh if they give him more mediocre cars for the next 5 years. This Ferrari mystique that lures great drivers has bit many and left them disappointed. Prost, Mansell, Alesi, Alonso… Personally I’d rather see Ferrari leave than Marussia, personally.

    1. Don’t forget Villeneuve!

  18. Another ferrari blunder.i don’t think vettel will able to do anything which Alonso can’t.Vettel is only an overrated fellow .Hamilton and Alonso are the best drivers.

    1. Ferrari didn’t throw Alonso out. He left, so they took in who they thought was the best replacement.

  19. Hopefully Vettel vill only squander 3 years of his career at Ferrari ant not
    5 like Alonso.

  20. Welcome Vettel.

    1. Will you change you’re pic to Vet lol?

  21. “Finally Ferrari has started to turn the table. Ferrari has been my team for as long as I can remember, but had lost much of it appeal over the last 5 years. I think the problem with Alonso is that he takes too much space, there`s hardly room for the rest of the team. Alonsos ego became the most important thing and that will wear a team down given enough time. Team Ferrari was slowly becoming “Team Alonso” and nothing good came of it.”
    I agree! Alonso was fired by Matiacci, that is the true. Alonso did not anything for Ferrari, he work only for him. He is the worst sportman in present formula 1. Remember Singapore 2008!

    1. I love it as a Hamilton fan that Ham will more than likely be 2-0 in WC since he came. And lets be honest Alo was lucky to even draw with Hamilton in 07. Hamilton was the faster driver. People say Mclaren should have made Alo number 1 as they would have won, how about Mclaren make Ham number 1 after all he was the one who could cope with the equal treatment it was Alo that started it all check USA GP 2007 weaving on indy straight trying get team to move Hamilton over.

    2. Agree with you! Even now Alonso is making and taking the media for himself, look other drivers mostly humble, except few!

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