Luca di Montezemolo's pre-Christmas claim that he expected Sebastian Vettel to be driving 'a red car' before too long has been taken well by the German's 2010 title rival Fernando Alonso, who insisted that he would not fear partnering Vettel at Maranello.
While the announcement may not be taken quite so well by Felipe Massa, who is already rumoured to be on borrowed time at the Scuderia, Alonso shrugged off suggestions that he may be in for a tough time if and when Vettel dressed in scarlet.
"I'm not afraid of Vettel," he told Spanish publication Marca
during an fundraising event in his home town of Oviedo, "Should he come to Ferrari one day, it won't be a problem."
Vettel has done little to disuade F1 followers that he would consider leaving Red Bull in the future, with Ferrari among the obvious destinations for any driver aware of its legacy, but Alonso maintains that he would welcome the German, despite the problems he had with Lewis Hamilton at McLaren, the pair eventually tying on points in 2007, but losing out to Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen in the title race.
"I have nothing to say on the matter," he continued, "I'm not afraid to face any team-mate, I've never feared any of them.
"None of my team-mates have ever finished a season with more points than I have, so I don't see why I should be afraid of anyone."
Amid suggestions that Ferrari is rapidly becoming a team focused solely on its Spanish superstar - in much the same way as it favoured Michael Schumacher, Alonso did little to quell the paddock chatter as he looked forward to 2011 - when Vettel would still be driving for Red Bull.
The Spaniard went into the final race of 2010, in Abu Dhabi, as strong favourite for a third F1 title, but a botched strategy from the Ferrari pit-wall left him short of the result he needed to deny Vettel the mantlke of youngest-ever world champion that he once held.
"I have no doubts that next year Ferrari will build the car that I
want," he claimed, when asked whether he expected the Prancing Horse to be able to compete with RBR and McLaren from the start of the new season, "We have already very excited about it."