Sebastian Vettel to Leave Red Bull, Likely to Join Ferrari Next Season

Red Bull confirmed on Saturday that Sebastian Vettel would be replaced next season by current Toro Rosso driver Daniil Kvyat.

Updated: October 04, 2014 08:09 IST
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Sebastian Vettel Red Bull
Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel during a press conference.

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Four-time defending champion Sebastian Vettel has told Red Bull Racing he will leave the team at the end of the current season, triggering what is expected to be a major shake-up of the Formula One driver lineup for 2015. (Fernando Alonso may leave Ferrari next season)

Red Bull announced the decision on Saturday at the Japanese Grand Prix, confirming Vettel would be replaced next season by current Toro Rosso driver Daniil Kvyat.

Vettel had been under contract with Red Bull for next season, but had also been strongly linked with a move to Ferrari.

Current Ferrari drivers Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen are both under contract with the Italian team for 2015, but Alonso acknowledged he had been in recent talks with the team about his future.

Asked directly whether he could be driving for either of rival teams McLaren or Red Bull next year, Alonso said: "This is a very difficult question to answer. And I will repeat the answer, probably I will do the best for Ferrari."

Red Bull's confirmation of a Kvyat-Daniel Ricciardo pairing for 2015 cut out the Red Bull option for Alonso.

Vettel joined Red Bull in 2009 and won four-straight championships between 2010 and 2013, although he has yet to win a race in 2014 when the Mercedes team has been dominant.

"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 said in a statement.

"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."

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