Formula One world champion Sebastian Vettel has no agreement with Ferrari and will be staying at Red Bull for years to come, team boss Christian Horner said on Tuesday. By Alan Baldwin.
Horner told reporters ahead of this weekend’s British Grand Prix at Silverstone that persistent speculation about the 24-year-old German’s future was wide of the mark, even if it was unlikely to disappear.
“I have spoken with Sebastian about it and he’s made it quite clear that he hasn’t had any dialogue and hasn’t signed anything with Ferrari. The rumour mill always will continue..,” he said.
Vettel has won the last two championships with British-based Red Bull and is currently fourth overall, 26 points behind Ferrari’s leader Fernando Alonso after eight of 20 races.
His Australian team mate Mark Webber is second, six points ahead of Vettel.
Speculation about Vettel’s future flared recently when Ferrari principal Stefano Domenicali said the German and Spaniard Alonso could “easily co-exist together” in the same team.
Media reports in May also suggested Vettel had signed a pre-contract with Ferrari, the most successful, oldest and most glamorous team in Formula One with a move likely in 2014. Alonso has a contract to the end of 2016.
“I think most of our team has been going to Ferrari at some point this year, whether it be (designer) Adrian (Newey), Mark, Sebastian, even myself at one stage was supposed to be going,” smiled Horner.
“Sebastian is very comfortable in the team, the team is very comfortable with Sebastian. He’s been with Red Bull for over 12 years now and I think he will be us for quite a few years to come.
“I have no concern over Sebastian and where he will be in 2013, 2014 or beyond,” said the Briton.
Horner said Vettel, who still has two and half years remaining on his current Red Bull contract, was motivated by winning and success and the relationship between team and driver was more than just a piece of paper.
Both, he said, had to be completely comfortable with one another and share the same belief in their abilities.
“I don’t think Ferrari is a must for him,” added Horner. “He’s very happy where he is, achieving great results where he is and he’s focused on trying to achieve a lot more.”
Webber’s contract runs out at the end of this year and the Red Bull boss indicated that the 35-year-old, winner of the Monaco Grand Prix in May, could stay on for a seventh season with them.
The Australian has a gleam in his eye again after a disappointing 2011 and letting a title chance slip through his fingers in 2010 and Horner said he would soon discuss with him where they were going.
“Mark’s doing a great job. I think he’s driven extremely well this year, his consistency has been strong…he’s enjoying his driving again and I think they are a strong pairing,” he declared.
“They drive the car in a similar manner and it’s important for us to have two drivers who do push each other to get the best out of each other. So I’m sure over the next few weeks we’ll sit down and talk about the future with Mark.” DM
Photo: Sebastian Vettel (Reuters)
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