Ferrari claim they have signed Vettel for 2014

Updated: October 15, 2012

Felipe Massa will continue at Ferrari next season before making way for Sebastian Vettel to join the Italian team for the 2014 season.

Ferrari sources have reportedly confirmed that they have a deal set in place to sign Vettel for 2014 provided they are in a position to challenge for world titles.

Fernando Alonso has apparently given the go-ahead for Ferrari to entice Vettel to the team; such is the Spaniard’s clout at the team.

The Ferrari number one vetoed a decision earlier in the year which saw Lewis’ Hamilton’s chances of driving the famous red car go up in smoke.

Hamilton and Alonso had a fractious relationship together at McLaren and the idea of that relationship being resurrected at Ferrari ensured the Spaniard would block any move or else leave the team.

Ferrari clearly valued his offer as they decided against employing Hamilton, who has since signed for Mercedes in a three-year deal that will begin next season.

It may come as a surprise that Alonso has agreed to having Vettel on board the season after next, as the German won’t be content as number two driver.

It was this friction between number one and two at McLaren that saw Alonso and Hamilton fall out over their respective roles within the team, so to have Alonso allow Vettel to join is a surprise indeed.

Red Bull boss Christian Horner has completely refuted the claims from Ferrari, telling BBC Sport that Vettel will continue to drive for Red Bull in 2014.

He said: “Sebastian Vettel, without a shadow of doubt, will be part of the Red Bull Racing team in 2014.”

Massa’s seven-year connection with Ferrari looked to be in jeopardy this season following an uninspiring beginning, but he has improved since that shaky start with two podiums recently.

Those podiums for the Brazilian have seemingly convinced the Italians that he is worth another season, at least before Vettel arrives if you believe what Ferrari are claiming.

Team boss Stefano Domenicali said of Massa after the Korean race on Sunday: “Very good, I’m very happy.

“He did an excellent race and an excellent qualifying. But I have to say he’s [been] doing an excellent job since a couple of races, so this is really very promising for the end of the season.

“And if I want to anticipate the next question that I’m sure someone will ask, very soon you will know what will be our position in that respect.

“For sure, he’s understanding now better the car, he’s understanding better the tyres. We believe that he’s a very, very strong driver, there’s no doubt. Otherwise we would already have taken a different decision.”

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