Sebastian Vettel insists his decision to leave Red Bull at the end of this season was triggered by the hunger to do something new rather than a difficult seventh season at Red Bull where he is clearly outpaced by newcomer Daniel Ricciardo.
After winning four successive titles with the energy drinks brand’s outfit, Vettel found himself playing second fiddle to Daniel Ricciardo as he struggles to get to grips with new regulations. Naturally, Vettel was asked whether a frustrating season was responsible for this bombshell announcement.
“That’s obviously the way people look at it, but that’s not the way I see it,’’ Vettel said. “I think we had a very, very good time and I still hope we have a very good five races this year. I’m not leaving because I don’t like the team, I’m not leaving because I don’t like individuals, or I don’t like the situation. I’m not running away from anything. But as I said it felt like the right time, the voice inside me, the hunger to do something new, was bigger, even though it’s not the easiest decision, the easiest consequences to deal with.”
Vettel made his intention to team boss Christian Horner only on Thursday at Suzuka While the German is contracted to the Austrian team until next season, a contract break clause requiring him to finish third or higher in the drivers championship made this move possible.
“It’s a tough step obviously such a long time together with Red Bull,” he said. “So many fantastic years I did, and I still am enjoying my time there. But at some stage in life you want to do something else, you want to do something new. It’s not the first time I’ve been approached here or there, and I’ve had the opportunity before to change. Now I think it felt like the right time, that’s why I decided to do something else.”
Vettel remained quiet as to where he has signed up for next season. Ferrari remains the most obvious choice for the German who has always made it clear that he’d like to drive for Scuderia one day.
“I’m looking forward to a new project, a new step, and obviously the target is no matter where I go to be successful.”