Ferrari won’t rule out Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso

By Andrew Benson & Jonathan LegardBBC Sport
Vettel to Ferrari? 'Never say never'

Ferrari have refused to rule out the prospect of world champion Sebastian Vettel joining them as Fernando Alonso's team-mate in the future.

Vettel will not leave Red Bull before his contract ends in 2014 but is believed to have talked to Ferrari about joining them in the future.

Asked about the two being team-mates Ferrari boss Stefano Domenicali told BBC Sport: "Never say never."

He said it was "a dream team", but added: "For now, this is not our goal."

Speaking exclusively to BBC Sport at Ferrari's annual pre-season media event in Madonna di Campigilio, Domenicali said: "It is not an urgent problem or issue to address.

"It is something that we look ahead to because we have a lot of respect for Sebastian but it is not something we have to discuss urgently internally at the moment."

Ferrari sources first said last summer that Vettel had talked with the Italian team about joining them in the future and come to some form of agreement.

The initial plan was said to be for him to join in 2014 but that prospect has now vanished.

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner told BBC Sport in October: "Vettel, without a shadow of doubt, will be part of the Red Bull Racing team in 2014."

And after winning the title last November, Vettel also said: "I have a contract until - I think you know better than me at this stage - until the end of '14."

Ferrari insiders now say Vettel, who narrowly beat Alonso to the F1 title in 2010 and 2012, will definitely not join the Italian team in 2014, but would not rule out him moving there for 2015.

Domenicali picked his words carefully when asked about the subject in a news conference at Madonna di Campiglio on Wednesday before his BBC Sport interview.

"We have always said, and I think that the president (Luca di Montezemolo) also declared, that a dream team is something extraordinary if it is well managed and if things work well," Domenicali told reporters.

"For now, I think that this is not our goal. We have to maximise the balance of our performance of the team. We must be very careful.

"It is not just in F1 because it is true also in the world of sport. If you put all the number ones together around the table it can be more damaging than positive. So for the time being, this is not our goal."

At Madonna, Ferrari revealed that their 2013 car would be launched on 1 February and that they had signed Spaniard Pedro de la Rosa as their development driver.

De la Rosa, who drove for the now defunct HRT team in 2012, has extensive knowledge of McLaren's development structure after many years as their reserve driver. He also worked with Alonso at McLaren in 2007.

Domenicali said losing the 2012 title by such a small margin - Alonso was just three points adrift of Vettel - "burns and hurts within us" and Ferrari were determined to try to make amends this season.

"Let's face reality," he said. "We need to know what was the gap [to the front of the grid], prepare a target to deliver a car that will be competitive, make sure we start in a competitive way, avoid the start of last year and the year before.

"We need to put ourselves in a place so we don't have to spent a lot of resources to catch up."

Alonso has talked about the need for Ferrari to push the rules to the limit in the manner of Red Bull and Domenicali said Ferrari's "approach should be extreme within the limits of regulations".

Domenicali added that he expected Massa, who struggled in the first half of 2012, to carry his good form from the end of the season into this year and that would be "good motivation" for Alonso.