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Vettel Bolting Red Bull; To Land At Ferrari?

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Saturday, October 4 2014

Sebastian Vettel to change teams in 2015.

By John Sturbin | Senior Writer

Four-time/reigning Formula One World Driving Champion Sebastian Vettel will exit Infiniti Red Bull Racing at the end of the 2014 season, with Scuderia Ferrari rumored as the German’s next destination.

Vettel, who joined Red Bull in 2009 and has won 38 grand prixs and four consecutive titles with a team built around him, announced his plans Saturday morning in Suzuka, Japan, site of this weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix. Vettel _ who posted a career-best 13 victories in 2013 _ is winless this season in the return of turbocharged engines to F1 while teammate Daniel Ricciardo has posted three victories.

“Sebastian Vettel has advised us that he will be leaving Infiniti Red Bull Racing at the end of the 2014 season,” Red Bull confirmed in a statement. “We want to warmly thank Sebastian for the incredible role he has played at Infiniti Red Bull Racing for the last six years.”

Red Bull also announced that Ricciardo will return to the organization next year and will be joined by Russian Daniil Kvyat, who is completing his first full F1 season for Scuderia Toro Rosso, Red Bull’s junior team.

While various reports have linked Vettel to Ferrari, no official confirmation has been made from the famed Italian team currently featuring former World Champions Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen.

Vettel said in an interview on the F1 website that his decision to move on was prompted by “the attraction of doing something new” and that he was “leaving in peace.”

“It means exactly that _ a major step,” said Vettel, 27. “It was my home and in fact you only move out of home once in your life _ that is big. We had a fantastic time in those 15 years but sometimes it is also time to open a new chapter.”

Nico Rosberg edged Mercedes teammate and former World Champion Lewis Hamilton by 0.197-seconds for pole at Suzuka. Ricciardo will start Sunday’s race sixth while Vettel qualified a disappointing ninth. Vettel reiterated he was not leaving Red Bull due to a conflict with management headed by Christian Horner. However, Red Bull’s high-profile team principal noted during an interview that Vettel had triggered an exit clause in his contract in order to join Ferrari in 2015.

“I am not running away from anything,” Vettel said. “It clearly is a decision for something new, and not against the existing (organization). But then you have to follow your inner voice. And that is not automatically the easier decision, but I hope it is the right one and that wherever it takes me I will be happy with it.”

Asked specifically if he had signed with Ferrari, Vettel said, “I have nothing to announce right now, but it will not take too long. What I can say is that I will definitely stay in Formula One and not go skiing or mountain biking.”

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Saturday, October 4 2014
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