F1: Champion Vettel Weighs Up Title Challengers, Red Bull Wants Vettel To Make Team A 'Legend' Photo:
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Mike Stevens | Feb, 25 2011 | 0 Comments

Reigning World Champion Sebastian Vettel has singled out two leading challengers to his F1 title, and mentioned two more rivals that could spring a surprise.

"Alonso for sure, and Hamilton is without question one of the best drivers," the German told Sport Bild.

But Vettel has also warned rivals and pundits against writing off 2006 Ferrari teammates Felipe Massa and Michael Schumacher.

"He (Massa) didn't have a good season but no one should underestimate him; it's not so long ago that he was really strong," said the 23-year-old, referring to Massa's title challenge of 2008.

And Vettel said the same logic also applies to Schumacher.

"I think neither of them have forgotten how to drive," he said. "Schumacher's history is too great to write him off, and Nico Rosberg has also showed us his strength," he added.

Vettel also said Jenson Button has unique skills that kept him in last year's title race, and admitted that his own Red Bull teammate Mark Webber is similarly a threat.

"If our car is good enough, he (Webber) will get involved again."

On Webber, Vettel said he and the Australian have cleared the air since their 2010 clashes, but admitted that the pair are "not necessarily on the same wavelength".



Red Bull Wants Vettel To Make Team 'Legendary'

Christian Horner insists he is sure Sebastian Vettel is not seriously considering a switch to Ferrari.

Vettel has mused on several occasions recently about wanting to one day drive for the famous Italian team.

"All drivers have that dream," commented current Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport.

"Some actually say it, but all think of it," he claimed.

Vettel's boss Christian Horner, who is attempting to get the 23-year-old to sign a longer contract with Red Bull, told Bild newspaper that he thinks the German's recent comments reveal his "romantic" side.

"But just because he's romantic doesn't mean he's going to give up everything that we have built together," the Briton said.

"As long as we offer him the perfect car, he will stay here," he said.

Also quoted by the German newspaper, Vettel confirmed: "I am happy with Red Bull - they give me the fastest car."

Horner admitted that, regarding Ferrari's history, Red Bull cannot currently compete with the fabled Scuderia.

"We are regarded more as the cool team," he said. "But who knows, maybe one day we will also be legendary - thanks to Sebastian."



Massa Confident Of Putting Team Orders Behind Him

Felipe Massa is confident a strong return to form will help him put the 'team orders' controversy of last year behind him.

In the midst of a difficult season, the Brazilian was ordered by Ferrari last year to give up the lead in Hockenheim to his teammate Fernando Alonso.

The surrender particularly stung many proud Brazilians, who were highly critical not just of the famous Italian team but also of 29-year-old Massa.

"People do remember something as strong as that," Massa told O Estado de S.Paulo newspaper.

"A victory is much easier to forget than that. But it's not something that sticks in my head or stops me from fighting to win as many races as possible or fighting for the championship," he insisted.

Undoubtable, however, is that the saga hurt Massa's reputation just two years after so nearly winning the 2008 title, and then recovering from a near-fatal crash a year later.

"Undoubtedly," Massa agrees. "(But) good results always make people change their minds between cheering for you or being opposed to you.

"Even with everything that happened, I know I'm still supported, especially in my country.

"Going to restaurants, on the street in Brazil, of course nobody congratulated me but they said things like 'keep strong, head up' and this helped me a lot," he admitted.


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