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Auto blogSat, 04 Oct 2014 15:45:00 EST
Things are going to look very different in the Formula 1 paddock come 2015. Official word came down from Infiniti Red Bull Racing that Sebastian Vettel, who won four driver's titles while with the energy-infused fizzy drink and marketing company, will be leaving the team after the 2014 season comes to an end. Taking Vettel's well-worn seat at Red Bull will be Daniil Kvyat, who will join Daniel Ricciardo for 2015. Feel free to read that official announcement below.
While no official announcement has yet been made, rumors swirl that Sebastian Vettel will drive for Ferrari in 2015, taking the place of Fernando Alonso, who many believe will end up at McLaren, which itself is in line for a major driver and team shakeup next year as it switches to Honda power. It's not clear where the rest of the current crop of F1 drivers will land, but as this first blockbuster domino falls into place, expect the rest to fall in line in the coming weeks and months.
Formula One is in for a big shakeup next season, as the only two multiple World Champions on the grid are kicking off a game of musical chairs. Just who will end up where has yet to be figured out, but the overwhelmingly prevailing wisdom has Sebastian Vettel, who has already announced his departure from Red Bull, inking a contract with Ferrari worth 150 million pounds sterling for three years - that works out to over $80 million per year.
If the reports are true, that would make Vettel (pictured above with his assumed new teammate Kimi Raikkonen) the highest-salaried sportsman in the world. Compared to Vettel's rumored $80 million/year, soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo was paid $52 million last year and NFL quarterback Matt Ryan got $42 million, just ahead of soccer player Lionel Messi at $41.7 million. Boxer Floyd Mayweather was reportedly paid a whopping $100 million last year, but that's based on how many fights he fights and wins, putting him on a different earnings spectrum.
Those figures are also just for salaries, and do not include sponsorship and endorsement deals - and therein may lie part of the reason for Vettel's reportedly stratospheric salary. In addition to his salary from the Red Bull team with which he's won four World Championships, Vettel also pulls in a large retainer from Infiniti, which sponsors both the team and himself personally. In departing Red Bull, he'd undoubtedly have to sever the tie with Infiniti as well.
For every finished vehicle design we see, there are probably hundreds of drawings and models that have long since been discarded. Housed in its own room inside the Ferrari Museum in Maranello, the LaFerrari has a unique exhibit that shows off some of the car's design evolution, and Autocar caught up with Ferrari design director Flavio Manzoni for an even deeper look at what went into creating this hybrid supercar.
In addition to the final product, the LaFerrari exhibit also reveals some of the designs that didn't make the cut - two of which made it to the full-size scale model phase, though. The display shows off five different designs (three from Ferrari and two from Pininfarina) that were in the running to become the final LaFerrari.
The interview with Manzoni even adds in some juicy bits of info, including news that one of the potential LaFerrari designs has been locked away and could resurface as a special, one-off model. Manzoni gets in a couple of good quotes while voicing his opposition of the current retro design language currently being used by some automakers, as well. Check it all out in the video below.