Christian Horner has said that there is little chance of Sebastian Vettel achieving his apparent dream of driving for Ferrari whilst he is in the peak of his career, with Red Bull determined to keep him on board for years to come.
The German has made several comments about moving to Maranello before his F1 career is over, and Horner acknowledged that the Italian media is quick to latch on to such outpourings, but insisted that Vettel and Red Bull remained committed to each other and the pursuit of more world championship titles.
"I think any driver, at some stage in his career, would like to drive for the red team, and we don't hold that against him," Horner told Reuters
, "Similarly, the Italians get very excited when world champions talk about Ferrari, so maybe he's been dreaming about Ferrari, but I think that's about all.
"For the foreseeable future, we see him as a part of Red Bull - he's grown up within the Red Bull family and, hopefully, for many years to come. He can go to Ferrari just before he retires and that could be another ten years away."
All of Vettel's ten grand prix wins have come in cars backed by Red bull and designed by current technical director Adrian Newey, and he admits that the Austrian drinks brand has been an important factor in a career that would otherwise have stalled in the lower ranks.
"For the foreseeable future, and most importantly for the immediate future, he is very much committed to Red Bull and, likewise, Red Bull is committed to him," Horner concluded, "He's an important part of what we do and an important part of how the team moves forward, but that is more than a piece of paper or a contract. That comes down to relationships, down to trust, down to feeling comfortable in an environment. He's grown up within the Red Bull family and all the success he has achieved within his motorsport career has come within that environment.
"It's down to us to ensure that we are giving him a quick car and it's down to him to ensure that he's performing - and what driver in the pit-lane wouldn't want to drive a Red Bull at the moment?"