Andretti eager for Vettel to succeed at Ferrari


Mario Andretti is hoping to see Sebastian Vettel return to the pinnacle of Formula One at Ferrari.

Vettel won four successive championships with Red Bull between 2010 and 2013, but his fortunes have dipped since a switch to the Italian team in 2015.

The German's contract with Ferrari is set to expire at the end of next season, but he dismissed reports linking him with a 2017 move to Mercedes as Nico Rosberg's replacement.

Andretti, a former Ferrari driver and 1978 world champion, is confident Vettel remains happy where he is and hopes to see him match Juan Manuel Fangio's five titles in the famous red colours.

He told Omnisport: "I would love to see Vettel win a championship with Ferrari because I think he really wants to be there.

"It's been his dream to be there because Michael [Schumacher] was his hero and he's a bit frustrated obviously because things are the way they are at the moment.

"He gets along well with Kimi [Raikkonen], which is important as a team, but he's showing his frustration a bit, you can tell, because he feels that it could be better. 

"But he belongs there and I think everyone would like to see him be successful with Ferrari.

"I am one of those. I am a fan of his in every way. He expressed that to me a long time ago when he first came into the ranks of F1 that that's what he'd like to be and I think he's where he wants to be."

Vettel's struggles have coincided with Mercedes asserting their dominance, with Rosberg overthrowing two-time defending champion Lewis Hamilton this year.

Andretti believes it is just a matter of time until Ferrari, who last won the constructors' title in 2008, return to the top.

He added: "I wish I had a magic wand to see whether Ferrari can be up there to challenge for wins week-in and week-out.

"I don't know a team that will be working as hard as Ferrari, really. They're relentless in every way. Ferrari is Formula 1, it always will be. So they live and breathe that and sooner or later they will be where they want to be. It's not a matter of if, but when.

"I just hope that the other team comes closer to just mix things up next year."