‘Silly season’ is the buzzword in the Valencia paddock this weekend, but as usual in F1, things are never as they appear.
Grabbing the big headlines on Thursday were the suggestions Sebastian Vettel or Lewis Hamilton could be on the move, and that Ferrari’s number one Fernando Alonso wouldn’t mind sharing F1’s biggest and most famous team with either of his fellow superstars.
“Of course he is going to say that,” said Hamilton, who had an acrimonious season alongside Alonso at McLaren in 2007. “I would say the same thing, whether it was true or not.”
Vettel essentially dodged reporters’ numerous Ferrari-related questions on Thursday, insisting only that it would be “a pleasure to race alongside Fernando”.
Surmised O Estado de S.Paulo correspondent Livio Oricchio: “Another lie.” Actually, the driver market’s real action is elsewhere, with Hamilton widely expected to stay at McLaren, and Vettel at Red Bull.
“Never change a winning team,” Red Bull’s Dr Helmut Marko told Austrian newspaper Kleine Zeitung when asked about the current lineup of Vettel alongside Mark Webber. “That says it all,” he revealed.
Auto Bild, meanwhile, quotes Marko as saying the chances Vettel will not still be at Red Bull at the end of 2014 are “low”.
“He is looking to see what is his market value, as it is clear that he wants to be paid what he is worth.”
As for the rumours swirling around Hamilton, Marko surmised plainly: “It’s the usual antics, to drive up his price at McLaren. Actually everything depends on Schumacher,” he insisted.
Marko said that if Michael Schumacher does not extend his contract at Mercedes, the driver market will suddenly explode.