Bernie Ecclestone has admitted his 'surprise' that Ferrari has not jumped upon the opportunity to prise Sebastian Vettel away from his Red Bull contract – as he suggested the German will 'absolutely' end up at the Scuderia
Vettel broke all records in the Formula 1 when – already its youngest-ever debutant and points-scorer, having finished eighth on his maiden outing for BMW-Sauber in the 2007 US Grand Prix, aged just 19 years and 349 days – he became its youngest pole position holder and race-winner too, in storming to both the top spot in qualifying and then a day later victory in the Italian Grand Prix at Monza last year for Scuderia Toro Rosso, stunning seasoned paddock observers in the process.
On the back of that sublime performance and other strong showings during the course of his first full campaign in the top flight, many have tipped the man from Heppenheim to go on to clinch multiple world championships, prompting some in his homeland to dub him 'Baby Schumi' in reference to his legendary, seven-time title-winning compatriot Michael Schumacher.
Though he will compete for the parent Red Bull Racing outfit in 2009, Ecclestone contends that the 21-year-old will wind up at Maranello sooner or later.
“I see Sebastian with Ferrari,” the sport's commercial rights-holder told German newspaper Bild am Sonntag
. “I am actually a little surprised that he is not already under contract, but I am absolutely sure that it will be so.”
Asked about the possibility of Vettel going on to match or even surpass Schumacher's achievements, meanwhile, the Formula One Management chief executive simply replied: “Ask me again in eight, nine, ten years.”