Vettel extends Red Bull contract

Updated: Mar 14, 2011, 21:56 PM IST

London: Formula One world champion Sebastian Vettel will stay at Red Bull Racing until at least the end of 2014, the title-winning team said.

Red Bull said in a statement that it had extended the 23-year-old German`s contract with the Austrian-owned team.

Vettel became the sport`s youngest ever champion when he won last year`s season-ending race in Abu Dhabi.

He starts the new season in Australia next week as a favourite again, with Red Bull looking quick and reliable in testing. His team mate will again be Australian Mark Webber, whose contract expires at the end of the year.

Vettel 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 current employers.

"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."

Team boss Christian Horner joked last month that the team would be happy to let the driver go to the Italian team "just before he retires."

"For the foreseeable future we see him as a part of Red Bull," he added. "He`s grown up within the Red Bull family and hopefully for many years to come."

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