Whitmarsh wanted Vettel according to Bild

F1Yorkshire

Avatar for sale to the highest bidder
Contributor
I may be premature in posting this as it should really be in 2012 Silly Season

http://en.espnf1.com/f1/motorsport/story/28490.html



McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh has revealed he attempted to poach Sebastian Vettel in 2008 and that the Red Bull driver is still on his team's radar.

Whitmarsh was highly critical of Vettel at the Belgian Grand Prix, describing him as a "crash kid" after punting Jenson Button out of the race.

"Under pressure this year, Sebastian is making just too many mistakes," Whitmarsh told Sport Bild. "Also his collision with Mark Webber in Turkey, for me, was 95% his fault."

But when looking around for a replacement for Fernando Alonso at the end of 2007, McLaren offered then Toro Rosso rookie Vettel a deal that was vetoed by contract holders Red Bull.

"I am open and honest enough to admit it," Whitmarsh confirmed. "Sebastian is one of the great and promising talents, and we at McLaren wanted to have him. We were not able to sign him at that time."

Vettel is now signed up with Red Bull Racing until 2012.

"If he continues to develop so fantastically, then at the end of his contract I will try once again to get him," revealed Whitmarsh.

:givemestrength: :givemestrength: :givemestrength: :givemestrength: :givemestrength:
 

Boyle

Race Winner
Contributor
Well, considering Vettel was the hottest property on the grid in 2008 - becoming the youngest race winner in F1 history, for starters - then I'm not surprised. I'm sure most teams were contacting his agent at the time. Last year he may have been making some minor mistakes but you could clearly see the talent.

This year has clearly changed many people's opinions of him, not just the big mistakes he has made and the fact that he and his team mate should have the title wrapped up by now but his seeming lack of respect for the rules and his fellow drivers. However, it is not like it is untrodden ground he is walking - Senna, Schumi, Alonso to name a few all at times have crossed the line. Let's just hope he matures with age. I blame Red Bull for making him so petulant this season tbh.

So I do see why Whitmarsh did make an enquiry and make one in the future. But is this just mind games to unsettle Red Bull? Or is it genuine and he expects to lose one of his champion drivers in 2012?
 

gally5

Rookie
I don't think it will happen, but I would guess if one of the two current drivers is dominant over the next two years, then the other may jump ship. If anything though I think next year will be even tighter between them, as Jenson will have a year at the team under his belt, and Lewis, I think will have learned a lot from Jenson this year.

If Vettel was to join McLaren, a gut feeling is it would be Lewis that would go (or have gone). Don't know why, just what I think!

Most likely scenario is mind games though I would expect.
 

teabagyokel

#dejavu
Valued Member
It is in Bild, which is not the most reputable of newspapers, but I don't see why Whitmarsh wouldn't have wanted to sign Vettel in 2008, or why he would ever put himself in a situation where he would say he was guaranteed not to sign a driver in two years time. Two years is a long time in Formula 1.
 
I'm with Boyle99 on this one... RedBull have spoilt Vettel when they should have reigned him in and helped him develop some discipline. To some extent this may be the mark of a comparitively immature team (in that they are learning a lot of lessons quickly themselves).

Would I want vettel driving for McLaren?
Probably not... I've just never warmed to Vettel despite his obvious raw pace.
And who would he replace?
Has to be Button as favourite... on age alone.
 

fat jez

Race Winner
Valued Member
Charley's Dad said:
To some extent this may be the mark of a comparitively immature team (in that they are learning a lot of lessons quickly themselves).

I'm not sure I'd consider Red Bull a comparatively immature team. Prior to being Red Bull they were Jaguar and before that, Stewart Racing. As such, in one form or another the team has been around since 1996. I think the real problem is that the powers that be in the team don't see that Vettel can do any wrong, which is disappointing and slightly blinkered, especially given the number of other drivers he has taken out or damaged (including his own team mate!).
 

Speshal

World Champion
Valued Member
fat_jez said:
[quote="Charley's Dad":xe0zsxkh]To some extent this may be the mark of a comparitively immature team (in that they are learning a lot of lessons quickly themselves).
I think the real problem is that the powers that beDietrich Mateschitzcan't see that Vettel can do any wrong, which is disappointing and slightly blinkered, especially given the number of other drivers he has taken out or damaged (including his own team mate!).[/quote:xe0zsxkh]

Fixed that for you ;)
 
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