Vettel not looking for a friend
Sebastian Vettel has made it clear that regardless of the identity of his new team-mate he does not have to be their friend.
Doubts continue to linger as to who will replace Mark Webber in the wake of Red Bull team principal Christian Horner's remarks ahead of this weekend's Belgian Grand Prix.
What was seemingly a two-horse race between Kimi Raikkonen and Daniel Ricciardo going into the summer break four weeks ago appears to have been blown wide open again.
On Thursday, Horner remarked there were "more options than you could possibly think", resulting in a delay in a decision that will now be delivered over the course of the Italian GP early next month, or soon after.
Horner has confirmed the team's new driver is the choice of himself and chief technical officer Adrian Newey, with owner Dietrich Mateschitz having the final say.
Horner has stated, however, that Vettel has "no right of veto" when it comes to deciding on his new team-mate regardless of his feelings.
From Vettel's perspective, and as he has proven in his relationship with Webber, you can be the best of enemies, so long as you work for the team.
"Ideally you would like someone who is competitive, as competitive as you are, so that we are pushing each other," said Vettel on the ideal credentials for a team-mate.
"You don't have to be best friends with whoever is racing next to you. At the end of the day you have to work for the team.
"That's one of the most important bits in that you pull in the same direction and hopefully ensure the car gets faster, and in terms of car development.
"Whether you like each or not is not that important. If it's the case, then probably it's a bonus, but I don't think it's absolutely necessary."
With regard to his hopes of clinching a fourth successive title, the 26-year-old recognises the increasing threat being posed by Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton.
With seven poles in the last eight races Mercedes have become the dominant force in qualifying, although they have generally struggled on a Sunday due to their tyre woes, particularly in hot conditions.
Hamilton's victory in Hungary, with temperatures at their hottest and crucially on new Pirelli tyres given the changes enforced following the blowout chaos during the British GP at Silverstone, appears to have altered the landscape.
With Hamilton 48 points adrift, the 28-year-old seemingly has the chance to close that gap and prove himself a serious contender.
Three-times champion Vettel acknowledged that as he said: "He's one of them.
"Mercedes has been very competitive, not just Lewis as Nico (Rosberg) has won two races already this year.
"We know they are very quick in qualifying, and then in Hungary they had the ability to show their speed in the race as well.
"But Lotus has always been there scoring points with Kimi, and Romain (Grosjean) is fighting his way back.
"Ferrari is on a bit of a low at the moment, but still they've good points, so all of these teams and drivers you have to keep them in mind.
"For us it's not that important to pick one particular driver or team as we just have to get our own stuff sorted and then we will see what happens."