Horner: Vettel is not leaving
Christian Horner has denied Sebastian Vettel is destined to join Ferrari, insisting he will continue to drive for Red Bull for the "foreseeable future".
Last Updated: 15/10/12 10:56am
Red Bull chief Christian Horner has denied Sebastian Vettel is destined to join Ferrari, insisting the World Champion will continue to drive for his team for the "foreseeable future" despite growing speculation that Vettel will move to Maranello for 2014.
Although the Milton Keynes-based team announced mid-way through last season that Vettel had signed a contract extension until the end of 2014, speculation has reached a fever pitch in recent weeks that that Vettel has signed a pre-contract agreement to join Fernando Alonso at Ferrari from the season after next.
Those claims were fuelled earlier this week by the publication of extracts from a joint interview between Ferrari Team Principal Stefano Domenicali and F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone on the Italian team's website in which neither man shied away from the possibility of Vettel joining the sport's most successful team in the future. To the delight of rumour-mongers, Domenicali even went as far as insisting that Alonso and Vettel "could easily coexist" as team-mates.
But Horner has shrugged off the comments and vowed Vettel is going nowhere.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with Sky Sports News' Craig Slater in Valencia, Horner swatted aside the significance of Domenicali and Ecclestone's comments: "I think a question was asked whether anybody could ever imagine Sebastian driving a Ferrari, and what are they supposed to say? No?
"Sebastian is really happy in the team, he's an important part of this team and he will be driving one of our cars for the foreseeable future.
"There's always going to be speculation regarding drivers and movements of drivers and contracts, which always remain totally confidential."
Although Vettel has always insisted in public that he is happy at Red Bull, prior to extending his RBR contract last year he was quoted as saying in the German press that "every driver dreams of Ferrari or Mercedes".
But paddock opinion remains divided on whether Vettel would be wise to consider leaving Red Bull having won two successive titles with the Milton Keynes outfit. Although Sky Sports F1's Ted Kravitz opined this week that "we all know in F1 that, at some point in his career, Sebastian Vettel will drive a Ferrari", colleague Johnny Herbert believes it would be "madness" for the German to elect to partner Alonso at this stage in his career.
"He's in a very good place, he's very happy with what he's got, like Fernando. I think they should stay apart," Johnny declared during Sky Sports F1's Qualifying Show.
Martin Brundle also voiced his scepticism that Vettel has committed to joining Ferrari. "It is going to help his negotiations at Red Bull, isn't it, whenever they come up. It's a bit of mischief: it destabilises and people start looking over their shoulder and think 'is there any truth in this?'
"I agree with Johnny: Fernando's made his home at Ferrari and it's his turf isn't it and Sebastian's very much got Red Bull pointing where he needs them too, and that's at him basically."