Sebastian Vettel has named his first Ferrari ‘Eva’.
The quadruple world champion has continued his personal tradition of giving his F1 machine a female nickname after switching from Red Bull to the fabled Maranello team.
The big question now is whether ‘Eva’ is able to take the title fight to dominant Mercedes in 2015.
“It would be nice if he could make our lives difficult,” Nico Rosberg said in Melbourne. “But I think it will take them a while.”
What is clear is that Ferrari is publicly delighted with its new number 1 driver, after losing Fernando Alonso to McLaren-Honda.
“The Italians always need a driver to look up to,” Niki Lauda, who knows that role well, is quoted by the German-language publication Focus.
“Sebastian is now in the position Schumacher once was,” said the Mercedes team chairman.
New Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne confirmed the feeling in the paddock that Ferrari is putting all its eggs in the Vettel basket after Alonso’s departure.
Speaking of the Spaniard, Marchionne told La Gazzetta dello Sport: “It was not an easy marriage for him with Ferrari.
“Maybe it was right that this era came to an end after five years. It was probably better that way for both sides,” he insisted.
Marchionne made clear that the future is called Vettel, as the 27-year-old successfully combines “tranquility with wisdom, which is not easy for a young man”.
He is also happy with 2007 world champion Kimi Raikkonen, who is “not the Kimi that we saw last season. He is the Kimi that we knew before”. (GMM)