Sebastian Vettel has admitted his desire for an honest and respectful teammate.
The reigning world champion was asked the question during an interview with the German news agency DPA, less than two weeks after a team orders row re-emerged at the Red Bull team.
Vettel’s current teammate, Mark Webber, had admitted to ignoring the order to ease his attack on the world championship leader in the closing stages of the British grand prix.
The 23-year-old told Germany’s motorsport-magazin.com at Silverstone: “I think the most important thing is that when I go home tonight, I can look in the mirror and feel fine about myself.”
The incident triggered speculation that Vettel would prefer a new teammate for 2012, even though Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz has indicated that Australian Webber will be retained.
“In the end it doesn’t interest me who my teammate is, as long as he or she is honest and we respect one another,” German Vettel told DPA ahead of his home race at the Nurburgring.
“Many people have misunderstood the relationship between Mark and myself. Even if we aren’t best friends, we do respect each other.”
Amid talk that Lewis Hamilton might replace Webber, team boss Christian Horner recently ruled out the 2008 world champion on the basis that it might disturb the “harmony” at Red Bull.
“It is talked about a lot,” Vettel admitted, “because definitely team harmony is very important. But you also need two drivers who push each other to constantly explore the limit.”
Meanwhile, Vettel refused to comment on Bernie Ecclestone’s recent claim that he has embarked on a new era of Michael Schumacher-like dominance.
“Firstly I am not happy to talk about myself, I’d rather others did that,” he insisted.
“Of course to hear that (from Ecclestone) is an honour, but I don’t compare myself with Michael.
“He has won seven titles and I’ve just won my first, even if of course I want to keep the trophy I got last year for as long as I possibly can,” added Vettel.