Ferrari president Luca Di Montezemolo says that if the team were to lose Fernando Alonso he would prefer to have Sebastian Vettel than Lewis Hamilton as a replacement
The Italian believes that in Alonso Ferrari have the best driver in the grid and have no intention of parting ways with the Spaniard, but in a hypothetical situation it would be Vettel who he would look to fill the void left by Alonso.
“Between all the drivers, Vettel and Hamilton could be perfect for Ferrari in the future, with one difference - Vettel is younger,” he said.
“First of all, of all the drivers, we have the best - in terms of speed, intelligence in the race, and a capability to work with the team.
“When you have the best driver you have to put him in the best condition to succeed, to win and have a good environment without peer troubles.
“But if Alonso decided to go to live in Hawaii with the girlfriend, I have no doubt that for human and professional reasons [I would choose] Vettel. He would be very good for us.
“I like Vettel, because he is not presumptuous. He wants to win but he is not arrogant. Michael [Schumacher] told me many years ago that coming from karts, Vettel had the most potential of any young driver and he was right.”
Alonso has been heaped with praise since narrowly losing out to Vettel in the fight for the World Championship and not surprisingly Luca Di Montezemolo is also a fan of the 31-year-old, comparing him to former Ferrari legends Niki Lauda and Michael Schumacher.
“Niki was very intelligent in the race and the first driver to be closer to the team, details, working even in the night,” he explained.
“Michael was, for me, a war machine in the race because he was in condition to do 60 laps like qualifying.
“Fernando is a good mix between the two. He is very intelligent. He knows when to push, how to save the tyres, when to attack, super intelligent and super quick, too.
“It is difficult to make comparisons [across different eras] but he is right at the top. But I’m very happy with Fernando. He is a key member of the team.”