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Red Bull confident it won't lose Vettel to rivals

ESPNF1 Staff
November 22, 2010 « Monza concerns over Rome GP | »
Red Bull wants to keep Sebastian Vettel for the next three to four years © Getty Images

Red Bull is planning to keep 2010 world champion Sebastian Vettel for at least the next three to four years, but is willing to break his contract if the car becomes uncompetitive.

Vettel became the youngest Formula One champion after taking ten pole positions and five victories with Red Bull in just his second year at the team. Red Bull has made clear that it would like Vettel to commit his future to the team, but advisor Helmut Marko said the new contract after 2012 will not be as long-term as some reports have suggested.

"Let's be clear: there is not going to be a ten-year contract, because we are not able to guarantee we will have a competitive car for that long," he told Express. "And Sebastian cannot guarantee that he will always be comfortable with us.

"But in the medium term, the next three or four years, we are firmly planning to be with him."

Earlier this week, Vettel did not rule out a move to one of the historic names in F1 such as Ferrari or Mercedes, but said any switch is "still a long way away" and that "everything must fit together". Marko is confident that neither team offers a big enough draw at the moment.

"We all know the political sensitivities at Ferrari," he said. "And he [Vettel] has seen with us that he has a comfort factor. He needs a team that doesn't throw a knife in your back at the sign of trouble."

Red Bull co-owner Dietrich Mateschitz has no concerns about losing Vettel as long as his team continues to produce competitive cars. "If not, we would let him go even if he had a contract," he told Welt am Sonntag newspaper.

He added: "Seb wants to drive for Ferrari some day. We will make it as difficult a decision for him as possible."