The long-awaited news, an open secret since the German announced
in October that he was leaving Red Bull, formally ended a five-year
love affair with double world champion Alonso that frustrated both
Vettel will partner Finland's 2007 world champion Kimi Raikkonen,
who has a year remaining on his contract.
"The next stage of my Formula One career will be spent with Scuderia
Ferrari and for me that means the dream of a lifetime has come
true," said Vettel.
"When I was a kid, Michael Schumacher in the red car was my greatest
idol and now itís an incredible honor to finally get the chance to
drive a Ferrari," added the 27-year-old, who took his first Formula
One win in a Ferrari-powered Toro Rosso at Monza in 2008.
Compatriot Schumacher won five of his seven titles with Ferrari.
"The Scuderia has a great tradition in this sport and I am extremely
motivated to help the team get back to the top. I will put my heart
and soul into making it happen," said Vettel.
Alonso is expected to return to McLaren, the team he spent a torrid
season with in 2007 before falling out with current overall head Ron
Ferrari announced the news in two separate statements, the first
declaring their relationship with Alonso to be over and the second
welcoming the sport's youngest multiple champion.
Alonso, who won his titles with Renault in 2005 and 2006, had his
hopes of taking a third championship with Ferrari repeatedly
thwarted by Vettel and his own team's lack of performance.
The Spaniard leaves after a partnership that brought him 11 wins and
[to top of second column]
He came closest to the title in 2010, when he went into the final
race as favorite only for a team strategy error to gift the title to
Vettel. The German then began a run of four championships in a row.
Alonso was runner-up in 2012 and 2013 but Ferrari have not won a
race since the Spaniard was triumphant in Barcelona in May last year
and are staring at their first season without a victory since 1993.
"Today is not an easy one for me, because even if I always look to
the future with great enthusiasm and determination, at the end of
this season my journey as a Ferrari driver will come to an end," he
"It was a difficult decision to take, but a carefully considered one
and from start to finish, my love for Ferrari was a prime
"I have always been lucky enough to make my own decisions about my
future and I have that possibility now too," added the 33-year-old.
Alonso, who said he was proud of his achievements with Ferrari, is
one of very few drivers to choose to leave Formula One's most
glamorous team. The Spaniard had signed a contract to the end of
2016 and had talked of extending that.
(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Peter Rutherford and Justin
[© 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2014 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.