Sebastian Vettel to leave Red Bull amid Ferrari speculation

2014-10-04 10:10

Japan – Four-times reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel will leave Red Bull after six years at the end of this season, the Formula One team announced today.

Vettel (27) said at the Japanese Grand Prix he will announce his new team in the near future amid speculation he will join Ferrari and take the place of Fernando Alonso there.

At Red Bull, Russian driver Daniil Kvyat will take the place of Vettel, moving on from sister team Toro Rosso to join Australian Daniel Ricciardo.

Vettel also started at Toro Rosso before joining Red Bull in 2009, claiming 38 of his 39 victories there, 44 poles and four straight drivers’ and constructors’ world titles 2010-2013 with the team.

“We want to warmly thank Sebastian for the incredible role he has played at Red Bull for the last six years,” the team’s website said.

“As we wish Sebastian well in the next stage of his career, we also look to the future with excitement, as the vacancy makes way for the next generation of Red Bull racers.”

Vettel has been struggling this season and is yet to win a race but told that “I am not running away from anything. But sometimes you need something new in your life.

“We are parting on friendly terms. It has nothing to do with the results although they are not what I expected them to be.”

Vettel seemingly informed team principal Christian Horner yesterday, and Horner said that Ferrari have probably “made him a very attractive offer.”

Vettel’s original Red Bull contract included the 2015 season, and Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen are contracted at Ferrari next year as well.

However, Alonso has said that he is talking about his future and has been linked with a move to McLaren.

Ferrari would hope that Vettel brings success back to the team who narrowly missed the title in 2010 and 2012 but have also been struggling this season after sweeping rule changes.

Vettel’s arrival would bring back memories of the past when Michael Schumacher joined the famed Italian team in 1996 and went on to win five of his record seven world titles with them.

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