|Red Bull Team driver Sebastien Vettel during a training session at Ricardo Tormo racetrack in Cheste, Spain in February. (JOSE JORDAN/AFP)
TORONTO - Formula One world champion Sebastian Vettel wants to put and end to all the rumours that he is talking to Ferrari about jumping to that team once his deal with Red Bull Mercedes is over in 2014.
Well, that is sort of what he wants to say.
You see the 23-year-old German admits that the lure of racing for the legendary Italian outfit is hard to resist, even for a world champion who looks to be headed for a second title this season.
In an interview with the Italian magazine Autosprint this week, Vettel refused to rule out the possibility that one day he could wear the famous red uniform of the prancing pony team.
“For me, Ferrari is a legend,” he said. “One day, it would be an honour for me to have my name on the list of Ferrari drivers.”
Vettel went on to extol the virtues of Ferrari, sounding very much like a driver who is interested in switching teams.
“If I talk about it so often, it’s because I’m often asked about it,” he said when asked about the speculation that he will end up with Ferrari. “In fact, there are two reasons: First of all, Ferrari is something special, as I’ve said many times. The second reason is that I have to reply to whoever asks me about it. It’s a self-feeding situation.”
In the next breath, however, Vettel said he was happy at Red Bull.
“I’m happy where I am and this is why I’ve renewed for a couple of seasons,” he said.
Vettel also revealed that one condition of is renewing his Red Bull contract was that F-1 engineering guru Adrian Newey and the rest of the main core of team personnel remain with the squad.
“Adrian is one of the most important people on the team,” he said. “I wanted to lengthen my contract, but not in a completely different team.”
NCATS perks up
The NASCAR Canadian Tire Series is starting to show some signs of life as it prepares for the season-opening race May 28 at Mosport International Speedway’s half-mile oval with the Dickies 200.
On Tuesday, Tim Horton’s announced it will be back on the hood of the No. 23 Fastline Motorsports car of Jeff Lapcevich this season.
The iconic Canadian coffee and doughnut giant has been a long-time backer of the Lapcevich racing family out of Hamilton.
But the other big change for the team is a switch to Dodge Challengers from Chevrolet Impalas this season.
Lapcevich has also signed a deal to have his race cars prepared at the race shop of Dave Jacombs — who guided Andrew Ranger to a pair of NCATS championships — with veteran crew chief Tim Ellas overseeing the operation.
“All of the changes we made this winter were done so we can contend for wins,” said Lapcevich. “Tim Ellas brings proven success to the team, and with him calling the shots in the pits, I feel we are in a great position to challenge for our first NASCAR win.
“We have great people in the shop. Don Barnhart will remain the car chief, but working with Tim and Dave Jacombs gives us the expertise to make the best decisions on race day.”
Kyle Busch is leading the driver-of-the-year chase after the first quarter of the 2011 season, getting the most first-place votes by motorsports journalists in tallying the annual award. ... The late Dale Earnhardt’s birthday will be celebrated Friday at DEI Facilities in Mooresville, N.C. Earnhardt, who was killed on the final lap of the 2001 Daytona 500, would have turned 60 this year. ... The two F-1 Scuderia Toro Rosso drivers — Sebastien Buemi and Jaime Alguersuari — are on the hot seat after team bosses said this week that test driver Daniel Ricciardo deserves a Grand Prix start. That means one of either Bueimi or Alguersuari will be on the sidelines. ... India’s brand new F-1 track has been given the monicker Buddh International Circuit. The 3.194-mile, 16-turn track will hold the inaugural Indian Grand Prix in October. ... Calabogie MotorSports Park, near Ottawa, is offering a free day at the track on Saturday to launch the 2011 racing season.