HEADED FOR MARANELLO: Sebastian Vettel will join Ferrari in 2015 after five years with arch-rival Red Bull so he's brushing up on his Italian. Image: AP/ Hassan Ammar
MARANELLO, Italy - Sebastian Vettel will take private lessons in Italian as he prepares for life in Maranello with Ferrari.
After racing a Red Bull for the last time at the 2014 Abu Dhabi GP he stayed at the Yas Marina circuit for post-race testing and appeared in the Ferrari garage in plain clothes.
Vettel remains under contract to the energy drink company for the rest of 2014; Red Bull adviser Helmut Marko said the appearance was "legally not OK but I couldn't care less".
BLOCKED FERRARI TEST
That might be because Red Bull went back on an earlier pledge to Vettel that he would be allowed to drive the 2014 Ferrari in Abu Dhabi.
Vettel was quoted by Italy's Tuttosport as saying: "Two weeks ago everything was clear. Then Adrian Newey said no."
Marko explained to Swiss newspaper Blick: "When Vettel asked me if he could test the Ferrari in Abu Dhabi I said OK but that I would have to ask the engineers. They (the engineers) all complained!"
Vettel's first lap as a Ferrari driver was expected to be at Jerez, Spain testing in February 2015. Until then, Vettel will be taking Italian lessons, according to the sports daily La Gazzetta dello Sport.
Vettel told the daily: "Language is very important to me so I want to understand everybody at Ferrari as well as I can."
Vettel apparently speaks rudimentary Italian thanks to his two-year debut (2007/08) with junior Red Bull outfit Toro Rosso.