Sebastian Vettel says he initially approached Ferrari about a drive as early as 2008, when he was still racing for Toro Rosso.
Vettel was racing in his first full season of Formula 1, driving the Ferrari-powered Toro Rosso, when he first approached then Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali about a potential move to the Maranello-based outfit in the future.
According to Vettel, these approaches continued throughout his time with Red Bull, where he won four successive world titles, before he finally opted to join Ferrari at the end of 2014.
“When I arrived at Toro Rosso, I started greeting 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 went in secret to Maranello to talk with [former Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo.
“By the middle of last year, Domenicali was gone but the contact continued with Marco Mattiacci and I spoke again with Montezemolo. But at one point Montezemolo and Mattiacci left the scene too.”
Vettel admitted he spoke with Michael Schumacher’s long-time manger about the possibility of joining Ferrari, and even discussed the matter with the seven-time champion himself before his accident.
“Talks went on anyway and I asked Schumacher’s manager Sabine Kehm for her opinion. Unfortunately I couldn’t speak with Michael.
“A while ago I told him about the possibility offered by Domenicali and he said that if I agreed I would find a nice atmosphere and a great enthusiasm in Maranello.
“It was a dream for me. Now I’m happy I’m inside that dream.”
This article first appeared on Richland F1 – Image courtesy of Scuderia Ferrari