Vettel confirmed at Red Bull for 2009

Sebastian Vettel will join Mark Webber at Red Bull Racing next year, the Milton Keynes-based team confirmed at Hockenheim on Thursday

Vettel confirmed at Red Bull for 2009

The German had been widely tipped for several months to make the step up from Red Bull's junior Scuderia Toro Rosso team after several impressive performances this year, even though formal discussions only started recently.

The way was finally left clear for him after David Coulthard announced at the British Grand Prix that he would be retiring, and Red Bull Racing wasted little time in deciding to confirm their 2009 driver line-up.

There had been some suggestions that the team could hold out for Fernando Alonso to make a decision about his own plans for next year, but amid mounting suggestions that the Spaniard is Ferrari-bound for 2010, there seemed little point in bringing the former world champion on board for just one year.

"We are delighted that Sebastian will be joining us next year," said team principal Christian Horner. "With David Coulthard announcing his retirement as a Formula One driver a fortnight ago at the British Grand Prix, after careful consideration, it seemed natural to announce his replacement here at Sebastian's home race in Hockenheim.

"As he was already part of the Red Bull family, choosing Sebastian as Mark Webber's team-mate was not a difficult decision. However, we have always stated that our aim is to have the strongest available driver line-up and Vettel's selection also matches these criteria.

"Having only turned 21 at the last race and with only 17 Grand Prix starts to his name, he is still on a learning curve, but it is clear that he has plenty of ability and speed. We are confident that Red Bull Racing will make the most of these attributes and believe that, in Mark and Sebastian, we have a very competitive driver line-up for 2009."

Vettel is in only his first full season of F1 but has already caught attention with several strong performances.

He made his debut for BMW Sauber at last year's United States Grand Prix, as temporary replacement for Robert Kubica, and joined his current Toro Rosso outfit a few races later in Hungary.

The German made headlines for all the wrong reasons in Fuji when he crashed into the back of Mark Webber behind the safety car in the wet, but bounced back with fourth place in the following race in China.

And despite a disastrous start to this year's campaign, when he retired on the opening lap in three of the first four races, he has put in several strong performances since to show a glimpse of his true potential.

"I am very proud to be joining Red Bull Racing and it's always good to have an early decision on what you are doing next year," Vettel said. "As a driver your target is always to be with the most competitive team possible and, over the past couple of years, Red Bull Racing has proved it has great potential, so this is a good move for me.

"I have been part of the Red Bull family for a long time and with its Junior Team since 2000. Throughout my career, they have offered me great support and now, to drive for their senior F1 team is a dream come true and I am looking forward to having a great season next year, even if I still have a lot to learn about F1.

"Apart from Red Bull, I must also say a big thank you to Scuderia Toro Rosso, where I feel very much at home. They have been my "family" for over a year and I would like to thank Franz (Tost) and Gerhard (Berger) for the opportunity they gave me and thank the entire team for all their efforts.

"Having got this announcement out of the way, I can concentrate on racing for Toro Rosso over the second half of the season. I will try and repay them by doing my very best to get some more good results, to add to those we have achieved so far."

shares
comments
Ferrari say title fight completely open
Previous article

Ferrari say title fight completely open

Next article

Vettel: Red Bull deal a dream come true

Vettel: Red Bull deal a dream come true
The inconvenient questions posed by Vettel’s Williams run Plus

The inconvenient questions posed by Vettel’s Williams run

Sebastian Vettel's demo laps on board his own Williams FW14B was not only a great spectacle for the fans, but were carried out with a fully sustainable, carbon-neutral fuel. And it begs the question - for all of the money F1 has spent on championing hybrids and electric components, could it go back to V8s or V10s with a similar kind of fuel?

The pioneering pair who brought a new glory era to an F1 heavyweight  Plus

The pioneering pair who brought a new glory era to an F1 heavyweight 

With the team’s founder now retired and a new boss at the helm, change was coming to Brabham – change that would shape the future of Formula 1. In the third part of our four-part history of Brabham, DAMIEN SMITH examines the effect Bernie Ecclestone had on the team

The combination behind the Silverstone racing battles Hamilton called "F1 at its best" Plus

The combination behind the Silverstone racing battles Hamilton called "F1 at its best"

OPINION: The late battling in the British Grand Prix wowed Formula 1 fans and surely represents the best racing action of the season so far. And there was a cocktail of factors that created the action, from which Carlos Sainz emerged as a popular new winner

Formula 1
Jul 6, 2022
How Ferrari’s Monaco headache became its Silverstone migraine Plus

How Ferrari’s Monaco headache became its Silverstone migraine

OPINION: Ferrari won the British Grand Prix with Carlos Sainz, but it ultimately cost Charles Leclerc a chance to make a bigger dent in Max Verstappen's title lead by leaving the Monegasque out on old tyres towards the end. Like Monaco, indecision over strategy proved to be the Scuderia's biggest issue - and if the team doesn't reflect, the headache can only intensify

Formula 1
Jul 5, 2022
The five factors behind Sainz winning a British GP he’d twice lost Plus

The five factors behind Sainz winning a British GP he’d twice lost

Formula 1 has a newest race winner, in a grand prix the victor appeared to have lost twice, only to charge back to headline a sensational and dramatic British Grand Prix. From a massive start crash to a late sprint finish, here’s how five factors saw Carlos Sainz take his maiden grand prix win

Formula 1
Jul 4, 2022
Why there was no case to answer in Aston’s latest F1 copycat saga Plus

Why there was no case to answer in Aston’s latest F1 copycat saga

The appearance of a revised Aston Martin in Spain caused controversy but PAT SYMONDS explains why the FIA investigation found the Silverstone team had no case to answer

Formula 1
Jul 3, 2022
Why it's Red Bull that really leads a three-way fight so far at Silverstone Plus

Why it's Red Bull that really leads a three-way fight so far at Silverstone

After a slow start to Friday at Silverstone, all the Formula 1 teams had to effectively cram in a day’s worth of practice into one hour. But there was still plenty to learn and while Ferrari topped the times, a three-way battle is brewing ahead of the British Grand Prix

Formula 1
Jul 2, 2022
Why the future is bright for the British GP Plus

Why the future is bright for the British GP

It wasn’t so long ago the situation looked bleak at Silverstone with the future of the British Grand Prix under threat. But a transformation has seen it restored to one of the most important races on the Formula 1 calendar, with bigger and better to come

Formula 1
Jul 1, 2022