I remember both Kimi Räikkönen and Fernando Alonso winning on their Ferrari debuts, and Jenson Button winning his second McLaren race. That's just nonsense to suggest that a good driver can't adapt to new surroundings. An average driver might struggle for some time, but champions aren't in that category. If Vettel went to Ferrari, we'd straightaway know how he stacked up against Fernando.
I'd expect Fernando to beat Seb over a full season in identical cars, but if Vettel went to Ferrari and proved me wrong and won us the championship I'd bow down.
So you figure we all forgot how miserable Alonso did in the first half of his Ferrari debut, after winning that initial GP because of Vettel's sparkplug failure? Kimi did not win his first GP by matriculation - Alonso did. Furthermore, after that, Alonso went through a mistake ridden and crash happy period of adjustment. We do not all have memories of a sieve.
Since you proclaim an average driver might struggle for some time, are you suggesting that Alonso is average, becaused he did struggle through the entire first half of the season. He himself admitted the car was difficult for him to deal with and just before Monaco, compared himself to Kimi in 2009, declaring that despite it having been a extremely difficult car, Kimi had still managed to do okay and even win a GP.
Vettel said that he has no intention of making decisions to "prove" anything to anyone - he will do what he feels is best for him and his career. He has cited Alonso's contract as a possible roadblock to his going to Ferrari. Clearly, imo, he has no intention of accepting an offer of the type I feel Webber refused and Button commented about. If it is Alonso's world over at Ferrari, he doesn't deserve to have anyone of merit in it with him. He can remain functional #1 in his world with whatever drivers will subjugate themselves in that situation. Massa is shown tremendous disrespect by fans and some journos; commentators make scathing remarks about his ability and worth as a driver - do you really think any driver worth a damn would relish being in his shoes? I don't want to hear how awful Massa is because that is BS, imo. He has merely accepted the lot Ferrari doled out to him, end of (imo).
Vettel and others would have the chance if they were better than Alonso, as simple as that. Why should the team go against its own interests?
No, Ferrari will have a chance to have Vettel, if they offer him a deal that is fair. Otherwise Alonso can continue to be 'better than' Massa [sic] or 'better than' [sic] some other driver willing to be subjugated to Massa-like levels. But if Ferrari wants a champion or potential champion to join Alonso under those circumstances, they are living in a land of pipe dreams and unicorns.
There is no "better than" among top drivers. Vettel could destroy Alonso or visa versa depending on many factors, both legitimate and illegitimate. And with Alonso, the latter is a serious concern, imo. But even dealing with legitimate factors, either teammate might do better in a GP if all is fair between two top drivers on the same team experiencing relative parity. That is why:
1) teammate battles are senseless. If one has a KERS problem and the other doesn't, you can only roll your eyes when you come in here and people are talking about how the KERS hit driver was "destroyed" by his teammate. It is just stupidity. So unless there is a major differential in talent, it can go either way.
2) Ferrari's #1 policy is ignorant. I fully understand the idea of putting all your eggs in one basket and not having the teammates take points off of one another. But because of the nature of F1, a 50 point lead can be completely eroded in 2 races and so making a decision to castrate one of the drivers mid season is ridiculous. And that is of course assuming that Ferrari uses that midterm policy instead of the full term policy it also has employed.
Vettel has intimated that he will not go to Ferrari while Fernando is there, unless he is assured of contractual parity. He's already had to come back 40 points in 2010 with Mark in the lead at RBR, so he fully understands the importance of having the freedom to catch up during the latter half of the season. I don't think that is a right he'd give up lightly.
However, in my honest opinion, Vettel won't go to Ferrari until Alonso leaves because Alonso would not agree to the type of parity Vettel would demand. IMO Luca knows this - which is why he has said that Ferrari must be very careful in selecting teammates because they don't want a situation where there is disruption in the team on account of teammates.
Edited by bourbon, 15 September 2012 - 20:26.