Plug in and play
Hamilton’s going to Mercedes, Perez will partner Button, and Massa (predictably) has another one-year deal. With three 2012 races to go the top-drawer drives of 2013 are squared away.
Both this year’s championships look like being another Red Bull benefit, so where’s the beef? What do the gossip mongers, paddock ‘experts’, know-it-alls and this-is-how-it-will-be fortune tellers write about now?
Vettel to Ferrari, that’s what.
Let’s think about that for a moment.
Sebastian Vettel is just about – right now – the world’s most perfect sportsman. Young, cool(ish), affable, charming, level headed, professional, seemingly both rounded in attitude and grounded in ego – and, most importantly, monstrously quick in an F1 car.
This time three years ago if I said to you the young German would – by November 2012 – be a three-times world champion you’d have thought me mad… But he probably will be.
Of course Vettel has made the most of the awesome winning machine that is the Red Bull F1 team right now, steamrolling his way to victory after victory, title after title, and impressively coming back from a mid-2012 dip in Red Bull form to make a stunning late-season push for the crown.
Of course all this makes Sebastian ultimately appealing for the Scuderia and their backers; Philip Morris, Santander and Shell would all love the fresh-faced Aryan to front their worldwide marketing campaigns.
Problem for them is, Vettel’s more intelligent than that.
Leave Red Bull? Leave a team moulded around him, devoted to his cause, with a car penned by Adrian Newey, the greatest designer in the sport’s history, to go to a team who struggle to understand their own wind-tunnel? A team that are historically unable or unwilling to run two top-drawer drivers, with Fernando Alonso – by some margin the most politically astute guy in a race suit – already fully and adoringly ensconced?
Add to the above the fact that Vettel is well aware that the genius of Newey is really brought to bear when car and engine rules change; so with 2014’s swingeing new regulations set to shake things up, leaving just as Adrian gets to work would be foolish in the extreme.
Can you imagine the desperate F1 driver scramble that would ensue to slide into Sebastian’s freshly vacated Red Bull seat?
Surely the real question – if you’re into such things – is to ask where Newey might be in the near future? For wherever he goes, wins will surely follow.
The shiny-headed Englishman should be Ferrari’s real target…
With three races of the 2012 season still to go it’s time to stop prophesying about what may be and write about what’s now.
No chance of that I’m sure!