Webber reckons Vettel bound for Ferrari
16 September 2013 – Outgoing Red Bull driver Mark Webber has described Ferrari's decision to pair Kimi Räikkönen and Fernando Alonso in 2014 as a "short-term aggressive statement", suggesting that the Italian marque will swoop for Sebastian Vettel in two years' time.
Webber, who is leaving the sport to join Porsche's endurance programme, reckons the Maranello-based outfit has taken "a bit of a gamble" with its driver choce, but feels it is one that could put an end to its title drought that runs back to the 2008 season.
The Australian then fuelled speculation over current team-mate Vettel's future, holding the belief that Ferrari will poach the German when his contract expires at the end of 2015, the same year he foresees Räikkönen and Alonso parting ways with the squad.
"For lots of reasons Ferrari need to be winning again in Formula 1," Webber told Sky Sports. "It has to happen so this is the first step forward for them to get the team back [to a title-winning level]. Constructors' is important, Ferrari winning that, and then the Drivers' Championship as well. So those two things have got to come together."
He added of the pairing: "There are so many reasons why it's a bit of a gamble to help Ferrari. Two years, probably for both of them I think. And then what they do after that obviously [is] pick Seb up off the back of Red Bull and keep moving from there. But it's a very short-term aggressive statement from Ferrari to put the team at the front."
Webber went on to argue that Alonso's qualifying performances will improve as a result of Räikkönen's arrival, with many expecting the Finn to apply greater pressure.
"He needs to be squeezed on Saturday afternoon to get the car further up the grid," said Webber, who has spent 12 seasons in Formula 1. "Fernando over one lap needs to be pushed and that will help him on Saturday afternoon with Kimi being there."