Sebastian Vettel to join Red Bull for 2009 17 Jul 2008
Red Bull confirmed on Thursday that Sebastian Vettel will join their line-up from sister team Toro Rosso for the 2009 season. Vettel will replace the retiring David Coulthard and race alongside incumbent driver Mark Webber.
I am very proud to be joining Red Bull Racing and its always good to have an early decision on what you are doing next year, said the 21 year-old German following the announcement. As a driver your target is always to be with the most competitive team possible and, over the past couple of years, Red Bull Racing has proved it has great potential, so this is a good move for me.
"I have been part of the Red Bull family for a long time, with its Junior Team since 2000. Throughout my career, they have offered me great support and now, to drive for their senior F1 team is a dream come true and I am looking forward to having a great season next year, even if I still have a lot to learn about F1. Apart from Red Bull, I must also say a big thank you to Scuderia Toro Rosso, where I feel very much at home.
They have been my family for over a year and I would like to thank Franz (Tost) and Gerhard (Berger) for the opportunity they gave me and thank the entire team for all their efforts. Having got this announcement out of the way, I can concentrate on racing for Toro Rosso over the second half of the season. I will try and repay them by doing my very best to get some more good results, to add to those we have achieved so far.
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner added: We are delighted that Sebastian will be joining us next year. With David Coulthard announcing his retirement as a Formula One driver a fortnight ago at the British Grand Prix, after careful consideration, it seemed natural to announce his replacement here at Sebastians home race in Hockenheim. As he was already part of the Red Bull family, choosing Sebastian as Mark Webbers team mate was not a difficult decision.
However, we have always stated that our aim is to have the strongest available driver line-up and Vettels selection also matches these criteria. Having only turned 21 at the last race and with only 17 Grand Prix starts to his name, he is still on a learning curve, but it is clear that he has plenty of ability and speed. We are confident that Red Bull Racing will make the most of these attributes and believe that, in Mark and Sebastian, we have a very competitive driver line-up for 2009.
Vettel made his Formula One race debut for BMW Sauber in 2007, standing in for an injured Robert Kubica at the United States Grand Prix. He subsequently joined Toro Rosso partway through last year and is currently competing in his first full F1 season. From 17 Grand Prix starts he has scored 11 points and enjoyed his best race result at last years Chinese event, finishing fourth.
Toro Rosso have yet to announce who will replace Vettel in their line-up next season.