Formula 1 Red Bull Racing

Sebastian Vettel to leave Red Bull

2014 German Grand Prix

Sebastian Vettel has dropped a bombshell by informing Red Bull Racing that he will be leaving the team at the end of this season. It’s expected this will be the first of a number of high profile moves in the Formula 1 driver market this coming off season.

Fernando Alonso is tipped to leave Ferrari for the new McLaren-Honda outfit and it is widely expected that Vettel will drive for Ferrari in 2015. At this stage neither of these movements have been confirmed.

Vettel is contracted with Red Bull for 2015 and is understood to have activated a special release clause to end the deal early.

Meanwhile, Red Bull has announced that current Toro Rosso driver Daniil Kvyat will be promoted to drive alongside Daniel Ricciardo with Red Bull next season (see statement below). Kvyat has impressed during his rookie season and on paper he is perhap the biggest winner following Vettel’s departure.

[Pic: Red Bull/Getty Images]


October 4, 2014

Statement from The Team.

Sebastian Vettel has advised us that he will be leaving Infiniti Red Bull Racing at the end of the 2014 season.

We want to warmly thank Sebastian for the incredible role he has played at Infiniti Red Bull Racing for the last six years.

Since joining the team in 2009, Sebastian, together with Infiniti Red Bull Racing, has scored 38 wins, 44 poles and eight World Championships, including four Drivers’ titles and four Constructors’. If you include Sebastian’s success at Red Bull’s second team, Scuderia Toro Rosso, the Red Bull total increases to 39 wins and 45 poles.

As we wish Sebastian well in the next stage of his career, we also look to the future with excitement, as the vacancy makes way for the next generation of Red Bull racers.

The Red Bull Junior Programme has developed some proven talents in recent times, including Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo, who has excelled in the RB10 and become a three-time Formula One race winner in his first season with the team.

We’re pleased to announce that Daniel will be joined in the team for 2015 by another rising star from the Junior Programme, Daniil Kvyat.

6 replies on “Sebastian Vettel to leave Red Bull”

This creates an interesting conundrum for 2015. I was thinking already last night when I was reading the article about Fernando Alonso leaving Ferrari. Vettel’s leaving Red Bull would only be to another potential championship winning team.

Apart from Mercedes, and both their drivers are secure in their seats for 2015, this left Ferrari, the team that gave Alonso an opportunity to challenge in 2010 and 2012. Our Asturian friend doesn’t have too many options now that Kvyat will be promoted. The most likely option is McLaren, where apparently he has signed a contract with Honda. Any other option along the pit lane would be a significant step back for a dual world champion.

If the above occurs, this also means that either Jenson or Kevin will be released by McLaren. The money would be on Jenson being released, although Honda may attempt to lean on the McLaren hierarchy to retain Jenson since he had driven for them before.

Further to this, an extra driver’s seat opens up at Toro Rosso beside Max Verstappen. Would Jean Eric Vergne look for another year with the Red Bull B team knowing well that he is out of favour, or seek his fortune elsewhere on the grid such as Force India, which would be the only mid-field team that has a seat worth heading towards. Or would Jenson attempt to take that seat?

The revelation has added an enormous level of intrigue into the 2015 Formula 1 season now.

Alan Jones would struggle to fit into two Toro Rosso seats these days, and even if they could design a whale-like car wide enough it would struggle to outrun the safety car with a fat bastard like him on board.

If the Ferrari seat being taken is to be Alonso’s, the winner from this looks to be JEV (another season at RBR-B before Carlos Sainz Jr takes it for 2016) and the loser Button. Previous Honda connections will not be enough to keep Button as the number 2 driver ahead of a young star like Magnussen, he’s hit the same issue as Webber did in early 2012 of just being too old to keep being fast.

If it’s Kimi getting replaced and Alonso stays at Ferrari for another year (it is very realistic that he will only shift to Honda-McLaren or RBR-A for 2016 if Ferrari don’t improve) then I can’t see Kimi staying in F1 at any team unless he pays for the seat. Honda won’t want him, either for replacing their number one driver (to have a lineup of two washed-up ex-champions – one is enough) or for replacing Button.

All that assumed that there will be two car teams in 2015. If any more than one of Sauber, Caterham or Lotus fail then the 2015 season will have three car teams. Three car teams will see Button and Kimi saved, and JEV not only saved but promoted from RBR-B to RBR-A. Grosjean and Perez will become players in the driver market if Lotus or Sauber fail respectively.

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