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McLaren keen to approach Vettel at end of contract

ESPNF1 Staff
September 15, 2010 « Ferrari denies Alonso now its No. 1 | »
Martin Whitmarsh on Sebastian Vettel: "If he continues to develop so fantastically, then at the end of his contract I will try once again to get him" © Getty Images
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McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh has revealed he attempted to poach Sebastian Vettel in 2008 and that the Red Bull driver is still on his team's radar.

Whitmarsh was highly critical of Vettel at the Belgian Grand Prix, describing him as a "crash kid" after punting Jenson Button out of the race.

"Under pressure this year, Sebastian is making just too many mistakes," Whitmarsh told Sport Bild. "Also his collision with Mark Webber in Turkey, for me, was 95% his fault."

But when looking around for a replacement for Fernando Alonso at the end of 2007, McLaren offered then Toro Rosso rookie Vettel a deal that was vetoed by contract holders Red Bull.

"I am open and honest enough to admit it," Whitmarsh confirmed. "Sebastian is one of the great and promising talents, and we at McLaren wanted to have him. We were not able to sign him at that time."

Vettel is now signed up with Red Bull Racing until 2012.

"If he continues to develop so fantastically, then at the end of his contract I will try once again to get him," revealed Whitmarsh.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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