Berlin, Dec 21, 2012 (AFP) - Ferrari chairman Luca di Montezemolo has said he wants to see three-times Formula One world champion Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull race for the Italian team in the future.
"Vettel is a future potential Ferrari driver," the 65-year-old di Montezemolo told German magazine Auto Motor and Sport. "If Alonso was to retire tomorrow, for whatever reason, then I want Vettel."
Having won his third straight world title last month, the 25-year-old Vettel extended his contract in November and is tied to Red Bull until 2016.
Di Montezemolo admitted that he could not imagine both current Ferrari star Fernando Alonso, 31, and Vettel racing for the same team.
"Alonso and Vettel, that would be difficult," he said. "When you have the best driver in the world, you must offer optimal conditions."
The Ferrari boss praised Vettel in the highest terms and said Formula One legend Michael Schumacher was the first to alert him to Vettel's obvious talent.
"He's young, he has both feet on the floor, he is down to earth and he has an overwhelming will to win," said di Montezemolo.
"Schumacher pointed him out to me four years ago, because he knows Vettel from his karting days.
"I must say Michael was right."
Vettel beat Alonso to the world drivers' championships this year by just three points, but di Montezemolo insisted he is very happy with the Spaniard.
"He is more than just a driver. He is a key figure because he puts so much into the team's work."