Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne is impressed with Sebastian Vettel’s ability to meld with the team, saying the 28-year old German driver has become more of a true ‘Ferrarista’ in the one year he has spent with the team than Fernando Alonso did in the five years he raced with them.
Speaking at Ferrari’s annual Christmas press conference, Marchionne said that Vettel’s ability to easily mesh with the team is a skill that Alonso didn’t have before he left for McLaren. Vettel was also the only driver to beat the two Mercedes of Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton in 2015, a feat he pulled off a total of three times, making him especially popular in Maranello.
“Alonso stayed here for five years and he was less Ferrarista then Vettel is after one year in terms of identity and identification with the team,” said Marchionne.
Marchionne also spoke of Vettel’s desire to become a true Ferrari team member, making efforts to address his team and employers in Italian.
“We had the annual Gestione Sportiva event with all the technicians, the mechanics, the sponsors and the drivers earlier this month,” Marchionne said.
“There were over 1,200 people and Sebastian gave a speech entirely in Italian. Of course he learned it by heart but it was perfect, incredible. He had prepared it so well.
“He did it very honestly, like the guy he is, with a great heart and a lot of attachment. “He became more Ferrari, like a guy who has always been Ferrari.”