Despite claiming late last year that he could not see Sebastian Vettel remaining with Red Bull Racing for the duration of his F1 career, Niki Lauda reveals that the German is staying put for now.
As recently as December, the Austrian reckoned that Vettel would crave a fresh challenge before his time in the top flight was up and, while that may be a long way down the line for the youngest triple champion in history, could see the tight bond with RBR being broken. That claim came while rumours of a future move to Ferrari remained a hot topic, since dismissed by the Scuderia as unworkable while Fernando Alonso remained in situ
“He will eventually move somewhere else,” Lauda told CNN
at the time, “It's normal. Any skier changes his skis every year – so you have to change your cars at least once in your history. “I changed my racing cars three or four times in my career and still kept on winning. He will do something like this for sure.”
Now, however, Lauda believes that Vettel is tied to Milton Keynes for the foreseeable future – to the point where he has discounted trying to persuade him to join his own Mercedes squad. The Three Pointed Star prised Lewis Hamilton away from McLaren to partner Nico Rosberg for 2013, but Vettel would obviously represent a desirable signing for any team.
“I know Sebastian's contract with Red Bull and it's long term,” Lauda told Italian television station Griglia di Partenza
, “That's why we didn't try to take him under contract at Mercedes….”
Red Bull team owner Dietrich Mateschitz has confirmed to Italy's La Gazzetta dello Sport
that Vettel's current deal lasts through to the end of the 2014 campaign.