Sebastian Vettel has said that it is impossible to predict what will happen to him or any member of the F1 field in future, but insists that he has no plans to leave Red Bull just yet.
The German found his name being linked to a possible seat swap with Ferrari's Fernando Alonso in the build-up to this weekend's Singapore Grand Prix but, like the Spaniard, says that the story carries very little in the way of truth. Again, like Alonso, Vettel feels that he has been repeating the same replies to the same questions for a long time, and is keen to put an end to the speculation.
“I'm not thinking any different to the last couple of weeks when you asked the same kind of question,” he sighed, “I have a lot of stuff to do here, especially as this year hasn't been the smoothest of years for myself, so there's plenty of work to do to make sure we come back [stronger].”
The German's history with Red Bell goes back beyond the four F1 world titles they have shared, beyond his first, surprise, F1 win with Toro Rosso and deep into his days as a junior racer. Because of that, Vettel says, he has no reason to want to move on, despite having been linked to both Ferrari and McLaren this season.
“I have a contract and nothing has changed,” he stressed, “The relationship we have is very special. They have supported me since I was twelve years old and I have been wearing the Red Bull helmet for a long time since then.
“Back then, it was impossible to predict what was going to happen, to know that one day they were going to have two F1 teams, and impossible to know that you were going to be driving for one of them at some stage - or both of them! It is impossible to predict the future but I've been with Red Bull for a long time and have a very, very, very strong link to them. In that regard, nothing has changed - and it doesn't look like it's changing.”
Vettel's position at Red Bull, secure whilst he was partnered by Mark Webber, has been undermined somewhat by the arrival of Daniel Ricciardo, who has enjoyed the bulk of the team's success in 2014. Far from being jealous at his colleague's elevation to the front-line, however, Vettel sees positives.
“I think [Ricciardo] has achieved a lot this year, he has won three grands prix, and it's good that he gets a lot of attention because he is doing a good job,” he noted, “Obviously, he's given me a hard time, but I didn't expect anything less to be honest. My season hasn't gone as i was hoping, but that doesn't matter when talking about Daniel. It's only fair that you give him a lot of attention and you should give him more - it puts him in a better position to negotiate his next contract!”
Without a win for the first time since being promoted from Toro Rosso to Red Bull, Vettel hasn't given up hope of reaching the top step this season. Armed with a new chassis for one of the toughest races of the year, he remains optimistic that his day will come.
“I prefer to win!” he grinned, “Obviously, we have some races to go and the target is to win. I don't like being beaten and, this year, I've been beaten many times.
“But that's part of sports, part of life, and there's always something you can learn both from winning and being beaten and losing. In that regard, I think we have already learned a lot as it has been a tough year so far, but the confidence is high, as is the belief that we will win again.”