Saturday 18 November 2017

Vettel hints Red Bull blocked early Ferrari move

Sebastian Vettel is leaving Red Bull to join Ferrari at the end of the season. Mark Thompson/Getty Images
Sebastian Vettel is leaving Red Bull to join Ferrari at the end of the season. Mark Thompson/Getty Images
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Sebastian Vettel has indicated that hopes of being released early from his Red Bull contract were blocked by the team.

It was announced by Red Bull at the start of the month that the four-time Formula One champion would be leaving the Milton Keynes-based marque.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner then let the cat out of the bag by stating Vettel would be joining Ferrari.

Neither Vettel nor Ferrari have yet to confirm this likely development, with Fernando Alonso the man everyone expects to be replaced by the German.

It then emerged that Vettel would not be released by Red Bull until five days after the closing grand prix of the season in Abu Dhabi on November 23.

That covers the final three-day test scheduled for the Yas Marina circuit from November 25-27.

And Vettel has now suggested it was Red Bull who put the brakes on plans to hook up with Ferrari at that test.

Asked about joining Ferrari, Vettel initially diverted attention to this weekend's race in the United States. "First of all I'm looking forward to the race here and to enjoy the last races I will have with the team," he said.

"Obviously, we've experienced a lot in the last couple of years so I think it will be a very special moment coming up in Abu Dhabi for our last race.

"But yes, obviously I'm not allowed to do the test for any team after the race in Abu Dhabi, although right now it's not really my focus.

"I think there are reasons for that and you can understand what they are," he added.

Irish Independent

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