Vettel and Newey extend Red Bull contracts

London: Formula One world champion Sebastian Vettel will stay at Red Bull Racing until at least the end of 2014 while top designer Adrian Newey has also signed a new deal, the team said on Monday.

The champions said in a brief statement they had extended 23-year-old German Vettel`s contract with the Austrian-owned team.

Team boss Christian Horner later told reporters the move was a "logical extension" and also sent out a clear message to envious rivals ahead of the new season starting in Australia next week.

"I`m sure he had loads of approaches and enquiries but he didn`t take any of them seriously," said Horner at a media lunch, suggesting McLaren, Mercedes and Ferrari were all interested.

"I think any team that is serious to be honest (was interested)."

"That was one of the reasons we were keen to get this finalised and announced before the start of the year, to avoid speculation. His future is with Red Bull for the foreseeable future," added Horner.

"Adrian, through the natural terms of his agreement, had come to a discussion point which we actually agreed last year. Hopefully Red Bull will be the last team he works for in Formula One."

While Newey has now designed title-winning cars for three teams, after previous stints at Williams and McLaren, Vettel became the sport`s youngest champion when he won last year`s season-ending race in Abu Dhabi.

He starts the season as a favourite again, with Red Bull looking quick and reliable in testing.

Vettel`s team mate will again be Australian Mark Webber whose contract expires at the end of the year.

The German has been supported by Red Bull since 1998 and, despite being seen as a future Ferrari driver, had made clear he was happy to stay with his existing employers although others saw an eventual move as inevitable.

"One day I do see him with Ferrari," Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone told the BBC this month. "In the life of every successful Formula One driver comes the moment when he wants to sit in a Ferrari."

Horner joked last month the team would be happy to let the driver go to the Italian team "just before he retires" and paid tribute to his independent spirit with what could also be seen as a gentle dig at Vettel`s McLaren rival Lewis Hamilton.

Explaining that Vettel had negotiated his own contract with the team`s billionaire owner Dietrich Mateschitz, Horner said: "For someone that`s so young, to be in control of his own destiny in the manner that he has is very refreshing."

"He doesn`t have a big management group or organisation telling him what to do or where to do it. He`s his own man and makes his own decisions."

Simon Fuller, who also manages David Beckham and Andy Murray, had earlier announced that his XIX Entertainment had been appointed Hamilton`s manager.

Vettel is also the youngest driver to score a point in Formula One, to secure pole position and win a grand prix. He is only the second German after seven-times champion Michael Schumacher to win the F1 title.

Bureau Report

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