Red Bull driver Mark Webber believes that Ferrari are planning a move for three-time world champion Sebastian Vettel in the future, with the recent signing of Kimi Raikkonen being a solution in the short-term.
The Italian team is currently in the middle of a drought, having failed to win either championship since 2008 despite the arrival of star driver Fernando Alonso in 2010. However, with the signing of Raikkonen for 2014, the policy of having a designated number one and number two driver appears to have disappeared at Maranello, but Webber believes that this merely a short-term solution to the team’s poor form.
“For lots of reasons Ferrari need to be winning again in Formula 1,” Webber explained to Sky Sports. “It has to happen so this is the first step forward for them to get the team back in [form]. Constructors’ is important, Ferrari winning that, and then the drivers’ Championship as well. So those two things have got to come together.”
He then went on to suggest that Raikkonen is merely a stop-gap for Ferrari before signing Vettel.
“Two years for probably both of them actually I think. And then what they do after that, obviously, pick Seb up off the back of Red Bull and they keep moving from there.
“But it [signing Raikkonen] is a very short-term aggressive statement from Ferrari to put the team at the front.”
Aged 34, Raikkonen is approaching the end of his Formula One career, with his Ferrari deal taking him to his 36th birthday. Therefore, the team may see this as a chance to get to the front and then have the form to make a move for Vettel, who has raced just once for a team outside of the Red Bull setup (one race for BMW Sauber in 2007).