Why Sebastian Vettel to Ferrari makes sense

Raikkonen Vettel

It's getting to the point in the season when Ferrari decide to write off their current aspirations and focus on building a car and team capable of challenging at the front of the grid next time around.

Despite this seemingly becoming an annual event, 2014 has been especially disappointing for a team that once dominated F1, having only achieved one podium finish from a possible 18.

This has alarmed bosses at the Scuderia, who are closer to Williams and Force India in the constructors’ championship than the top two of Mercedes and Red Bull.

Pre-season expectations also suggested that Kimi Raikkonen, returning to Ferrari after winning the world title for them in 2007 before leaving in 2009, may finally give Fernando Alonso a team-mate who could challenge him.

Yet this has failed to materialise, with the Finn facing the very real danger of ending an F1 season without a podium finish for the first time since he debuted with Sauber in 2001.

Raikkonen’s poor form has led him to concede he will ‘probably’ retire after his contract finishes in 2015. However he may be lucky to last that long, with many suggesting that the Italian side are growing increasingly frustrated with his lack of performances.

So, if the rumours are true, and Raikkonen does leave with a whimper at the end of this season, who could replace him?

While perhaps not the easiest deal to force through, Ferrari should really explore the idea of convincing Sebastian Vettel to leave Red Bull and join their cause.

With Red Bull’s motorsport adviser Helmut Marko criticising Vettel’s performances this season, the four-time world champion may not be with the outfit for much longer. Perhaps it is time to spread his wings and seek to conquer the world with a new team, just as his boyhood hero Michael Schumacher did.

And, if he does leave, the Scuderia are among the only outfits on the grid that could afford the German’s wages.

Admittedly, both Alonso and Vettel are used to being the big fish in their respective ponds and may not welcome the idea of having to compete for race wins and titles with their team-mate. What's more, both have had huge clashes with team-mates in the past.

And yet it is impossible to imagine that Ferrari's top brass would turn down the prospect of having arguably the two best drivers on the grid in their team.

Indeed, perhaps Vettel and Alonso – both of whom are ultra competitive and would hate to be treated as a number two driver – would both raise their games in order to avoid falling behind their team-mate.

While it would be near-impossible to go through an entire season without favouring one over the other – especially with Ferrari’s willingness to use team orders – Alonso seems to have mellowed with age and, if Vettel did join the Italian squad, he would know exactly what sort of a situation he was getting himself into.

At the very worst, Vettel’s arrival may eventually spell the end of Ferrari’s relationship with Alonso, but the Spaniard is almost 33, and it is unclear how much longer he will continue in F1. Replacing him with a man five years his junior who has won double the amount of world championships seems a logical move.

Whether this actually occurs remains to be seen. But whatever happens on the driver front, Ferrari still need to ensure they have a car capable of fighting at the front - no matter who is behind the controls.