Sebastian Vettel reveals contact with Ferrari started in 2008

Sebastian Vettel says he first contacted Ferrari about a potential move to the team back in 2008 and has since had "secret" meetings in Maranello while racing for Red Bull

Sebastian Vettel reveals contact with Ferrari started in 2008

Vettel was contesting his first full season in Formula 1 in 2008, and claimed his maiden win with victory in the Italian Grand Prix for the Ferrari-powered Toro Rosso team.

The German went on to win four world titles with Red Bull from 2010-13 before agreeing late last year to join Ferrari for 2015.

"When I arrived at Toro Rosso, I started greeting [Ferrari team principal] Stefano Domenicali and the Ferrari technicians who took care of my engine," Vettel told Gazzetta dello Sport.

"With Domenicali, starting from 2008 when I was at Red Bull, I discussed once and again about a potential future for me at Ferrari.

"In 2010 there was another approach, but again with nothing put to paper.

"In the winter between 2012 and 2013 I even secretly went to Maranello to meet [then Ferrari president Luca di] Montezemolo and talk about this subject."

Vettel said talks continued throughout last season, amid the changing managerial structure, and added that he also asked for advice from Michael Schumacher's manager Sabine Kehm.

"When Domenicali had left and contacts kept going on, I met with Marco Mattiacci and spoke with Montezemolo again," he added.

"But at one point Montezemolo and Mattiacci left the scene too.

"Talks went on anyway and I asked Schumacher's manager Sabine Kehm for her opinion. Unfortunately I couldn't speak with Michael..."

When asked if he had asked Schumacher for advice in the past, Vettel said: "Oh yes. Some time ago I told him about the chance I was offered by Stefano Domenicali.

"I told him I felt honoured and he commented that, had I accepted, I would have found a good atmosphere and great enthusiasm at Maranello.

"It was a dream for me. Now I'm happy I'm inside that dream."

VETTEL ON EX-TEAM-MATE WEBBER

Vettel had a frosty relationship with Mark Webber during their time as team-mates at Red Bull, with the pair clashing on track in Turkey in 2010 and Malaysia in 2013.

But the German says that while they are not best of friends now, they have been in touch.

"These days I'm not Mark's best friend and neither is he for me, but we are on speaking terms.

"When last year he crashed his Porsche I was immediately moved to send him a message to know about his condition, and he replied he was well despite the strong impact.

"We may even go have lunch together..."

Translation by Michele Lostia

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