Red Bull and Sebastian Vettel have announced that their successful partnership will continue until 2014. No exact details were divulged but it has been speculated that the deal will see Vettel remain at the team until 2013 with a performance related clause for the final year of the deal depending on team and driver meet targets in the preceding season.
The German had been linked with a move to Mercedes or Ferrari when his current deal expires but Red Bull felt it crucial to their future success to ink Vettel to a long-term contract.
Helmet Marko said that the deal was of no surprise seeing the success that both parties ahve enjoyed together:
“It was in mutual agreement that we extended Sebastian’s contract to 2014,” he explained. “Both sides wanted to continue the partnership, so it was no big issue.”
Vettel has been backed financially by Red Bull from the start of his career with the drinks company placing him in their various lower formulae teams before he made the move to F1 in 2007. His first chance came at the wheel of a BMW at Indianapolis, in place of an injured Robert Kubica, before moving to Red Bull owned Toro Rosso for the remainder of the year.
It was in 2008 that Vettel really started to show his potential taking a fantastic win in a rain soaked Italian Grand Prix. A move to the senior Red Bull team beckoned and success quickly followed, culminating in last year’s world title.
The ongoing success of the team though is much more strongly linked to the team’s ability to extend the contract of their technical director, Adrian Newey. It would be of little surprise to see an extension announced in the near future with the team clearly determined to ink long-term deals with their most prized assets.
Speaking after the announcement team principal, Christian Horner, said:
“It’s good to have it done and tidied up prior to the beginning of the season – rumours had already started about other teams,” Horner told the BBC. “We were keen to take away that distraction and concentrate on the racing. Sebastian feels very comfortable within the team and the team feels very comfortable with him,” said Horner. “We started to talk about it earlier in the year and it came together quickly.”
Vettel’s teammate, Mark Webber, is under contract until the end of this season with no news expected in relation to his future expected.