Schumacher first told Ferrari to take Vettel

Michael Schumacher Sebastian Vettel Ferrari

Michael Schumacher was the first person to recommend Sebastian Vettel to Ferrari, former president Luca di Montezemolo has revealed.

Four-time champion Vettel joined the Maranello squad this year after spending most of his Formula 1 career at Red Bull.

Montezemolo says seven-time champion Schumacher, who was a Ferrari driver for over a decade, thought Vettel was the perfect driver for the Italian squad back in 2009, following Felipe Massa's accident during the Hungarian Grand Prix.

"The first to speak well of Vettel at Ferrari was Schumacher," Montezemolo told La Repubblica newspaper in an interview.

"It was the summer when he had to get back racing to replace Massa. He said: 'The perfect driver for you is Seb'.

"[Stefano] Domenicali wanted him at all costs. He took him to my home in Bologna. He showed up with a box of Swiss chocolates. He was already a world champion but seemed a bit clumsy.

"He made a good impression to everybody.

"Finally, when Marchionne and me saw that [Fernando] Alonso had become dark and grim and continuously manifested distrust in the team, we decided to change."

Vettel has helped Ferrari regain a much more positive environment after the climate Alonso had created, according to Montezemolo.

"Vettel earns certainly less than what Alonso asked to get a renewal," he added.

"And then he really helped Arrivabene, who is a man of great character, to impose a new better and positive climate."

motorsport.com

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