Fernando Alonso angered by reports in Italy he could swaps with Sebastian Vettel
While Vettel insists he has "plenty of work to do" at Red Bull
By Pete Gill and Mike Wise in Singapore
Last Updated: 19/09/14 7:56am
An angry and frustrated Fernando Alonso has questioned the motivation of reports in Italy claiming that he is considering a blockbuster switch to Red Bull.
Despite recommitting his future to Ferrari ahead of this month’s Italian GP, fresh reports have claimed that the two-times title winner could swap seats with reigning World Champion Sebastian Vettel next season.
Speculation about the Spaniard’s future is nothing new, with Red Bull repeatedly linked with Alonso and McLaren making no secret of their ambition to lure their former driver back to Woking. Yet, so soon after he announced he would be staying at Maranello – albeit with the noteworthy caveat that he was happy “for the moment” – the latest batch of rumours, and its origin, has seemingly snapped the 33-year-old’s patience.
“I don’t have anything new to say, obviously the rumours once more came from Italy which is a little bit sad,” an exasperated Alonso told Sky Sports News HQ.
“We try to stay united and score as many points as we can, I go out with the guys for dinner, play football with them and always try to create the best atmosphere possible. These things don’t help, our brand or our team, and always having these things coming from Italy, these rumours and things intentionally is not good for the team. If one day I have to say something, someone will not be happy.”
In the wake of a undistinguished start to F1’s new turbo era, Ferrari have been in a state of flux since the turn of the year with Team Principal Stefano Domenicali losing his job in April and long-time President Luca di Montezemelo standing down last week. Yet Alonso is adamant that he will not be quitting the team.
“I’ve been commenting about my future for the last 13 months and I’ve nothing new to say,” he added during a press briefing. “It’s sad that it comes from Italy. They create for some strange purpose these rumours which do not help Ferrari. We need a united team. I think we know the purpose...and one day we will tell.”
For his part, Vettel, whose contract at Red Bull runs to the end of 2015, reiterated that he still has plenty of work ahead of him at the World Champions after a turbulent title defence.
“I have a lot of stuff to do here and especially this year has not been the smoothest year for myself, so there’s plenty of work to do to make sure that we come back,” Vettel insisted in his own press session in Singapore.
While Red Bull have at least still managed to win three races via Daniel Ricciardo in the Mercedes-dominated campaign, Ferrari have fallen as low as fourth in the Constructors’ Championship, behind a resurgent Williams outfit, with just six races of the campaign still left to run. Engineering director Pat Fry confirmed last week the team will be testing 2015 components on their cars during the remaining events but a resolute Alonso has vowed there will be no let up from the Scuderia in their quest to wrestle third place back from Williams.
“Absolutely not,” he replied when asked if Ferrari had given up on 2014. "We are Ferrari, we are much more than a normal team. Whatever our advantage or disadvantage is with Williams we will keep fighting until the final lap. There are many points still on the table and many opportunities for us to close the gap. Spa and Monza were difficult tracks for us, and Williams did a good job, but now we are arriving at circuits which will be a little bit favourable to our characteristic.
“I’m confident that at the end of the championship we will beat Williams.”
The 2014 Singapore GP is live only on Sky Sports F1 this weekend, with our coverage beginning with Practice from 10.45am on Friday.