Sebastian Vettel says he’s not running away from a difficult season at Red Bull – and has left the team simply because he wants a new challenge.
Vettel told team boss Christian Horner on Friday night that he wanted to leave the team for what is believed to be a future at Ferrari. It’s understood that a contractual escape clause was triggered because he was not in the top three in the championship as of September 30.
“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 insisted that he wasn’t influenced by RBR’s difficult 2014 season.
“That’s obviously the way people look at it, but that’s not the way I see it. 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 hinger to do something new, was bigger, even though it’s not the easiest decision, the easiest consequences to deal with.”
Vettel would not admit that he is going to Ferrari: “I don’t have anything I can confirm now, I think we have to wait a little bit longer. Not much longer, but for now I can’t say much.
“I’m looking forward to a new project, a new step, and obviously the target is no matter where I go to be successful.”