Jun 21, 2014, 6:30 AM EDT
Defending Formula 1 world champion Sebastian Vettel has laughed off stories linking him with a move to Ferrari, and has insisted that he remains committed to Red Bull despite Adrian Newey’s plans to take a step back.
Newey has been the brain behind Red Bull’s success over the past four years, designing all of Vettel’s championship winning cars. However, it was confirmed in Canada that his role will change as of next season, and will be involved in more projects external to the F1 team.
Nevertheless, Vettel remains as committed as ever to Red Bull, even after a tricky start to the season.
“Ha, these kinds of rumors come up once a year, so I am never surprised when it is Ferrari rumor time again,” he joked when talking to the official Formula 1 website.
“I have known Adrian now for quite some years. We’ve had fantastic victories together, and I know he loves motor racing so much that he will always be around. I really can’t see him doing something else to be honest.”
So far this year, Vettel has struggled to live up to his own lofty expectations after four straight championship victories. The RB10 car has not been entirely to his liking, so much so that new teammate Daniel Ricciardo has had the upper hand at Red Bull in 2014.
“Well, it is no secret that the year so far wasn’t the smoothest for me,” Vettel explained. “We had a lot of difficulties to overcome, but when you look at where we were in winter testing then we have made a fantastic step forward.
“Looking at the whole situation I have to say that he wasn’t giving me a harder time than I used to have with other team mates. Of course, if you look at the results it is correct to say that he has been in front most of the time – and in previous years I was in front of Mark [Webber] – but from that you cannot draw any conclusions as every race is a different story.
“There are always two sides of a story. He [Daniel] is doing a good job. I do not doubt that. He has had the ability to get the maximum out of the car since race one – and on my side, well, we had a couple of things to overcome, so it is good that the other half is doing well.”
Yesterday on MotorSportsTalk, we looked at the story behind Vettel’s tame title defence, highlighting the problems that have dashed his hopes of a fifth straight world championship in 2014.