Though he admits that on current form he is unlikely to need much guidance or support, Bernie Ecclestone has revealed that he would be willing to 'help' manoeuvre Sebastian Vettel into a leading Formula 1 seat should the need arise.

The German is one of the sport's very hottest properties off the back of a superb 2008 campaign - his first full season in the top flight - crowned by a record-breaking victory in the Italian Grand Prix at Monza, by dint of which he became F1's youngest-ever race-winner at just 21 years and 74 days, having already gone down in the history books as its youngest points-scorer and pole position-sitter.

Though Vettel will be competing at 'parent' concern Red Bull Racing in 2009, many paddock sages predict that sooner or later he will end up at Ferrari - a situation that would clearly please Ecclestone no end.

"If he needs any help, he can call me," the sport's commercial rights-holder confessed to German publication Auto Bild.

"Things can change quickly, and perhaps Red Bull will be happy to sell him on at the end of the year. You never know what happens."