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Sebastian Vettel Q&A: New challenge impossible to resist

04 Oct 2014

Sebastian Vettel sent shockwaves through the Formula One paddock on Saturday morning in Suzuka when he confirmed he will leave Red Bull at the end of 2014.

While the German admits departing the team with which he won four consecutive world championship crowns with was an extremely tough decision, he says the appeal of a new challenge and a new home proved too strong to resist - even if he cannot yet reveal where he is headed for 2015...

Q: Sebastian, there have long been rumours you could leave Red Bull for Ferrari - and now your departure at least is confirmed, which sent shockwaves through the paddock. No one throws away an association of 15 years so easily, so there must be a good reason for you to move on…

Sebastian Vettel: Probably because the attraction of doing something new was bigger than [it was] to stay.

Q: Fleeing the nest after 15 years with Red Bull is a major step. What does that mean for you?

SV: It means exactly that: a major step! It was my home and in fact you only move out of home once in your life - that is big. We had a fantastic time in those 15 years but sometimes it is also time to open a new chapter.

Q: How hard was it for you to go for the ‘new'?

SV: It felt very hard, because I am not leaving due to any issues. It clearly is a decision for something new, and not against the existing. But then you have to follow your inner voice. And that is not automatically the easier decision - but I hope it is the right one, and that wherever it takes me I will be happy with it.

Q: How long has this inner voice been speaking to you?

SV: It is not the first time that the opportunity for a change has come up. Right now it felt like the right time. The time that I had with Red Bull is something very, very special - hopefully this lasts until the end of the season.

Q: Would it have made any difference if Red Bull had a more competitive car?

SV: That is probably the way people look at it - but not the way I see it. I am not leaving because I don't like the situation. I am not running away from anything. As I just said: it felt like the right time. There was that hunger to do something new.

Q: Can we expect an announcement from Ferrari? Right now there is only the Red Bull press release stating your departure and Christian Horner saying that you will join Ferrari…

SV: I am sure that very soon there will be something to say - but not right now.

Q: Have you signed a contract with Ferrari?

SV: As I just said, I have nothing to announce right now, but it will not take too long.

Q: Could anything stand in your way of moving to Ferrari then, if you haven't signed a contract?

SV: I didn't say that. I just said that I cannot announce anything right now. What I can say is that I will definitely stay in Formula One and not go skiing or mountain biking.

Q: Are you aware that staying with Red Bull would very likely give you a better chance of winning races next year - and that Ferrari are more likely to be a long-term project?

SV: At the end of the day it doesn't really matter - as I said that it was the craving for something new; a new challenge! I am leaving in peace. Of course it hurts on one hand - but on the other it feels right as it means a new challenge.

Q: With the shock of your Red Bull departure, your Suzuka qualifying performance almost drops out of focus. Can you still say a word on it?

SV: Of course I am not really happy. We lacked some running in the morning and then it didn't seem that I was able to go with the track. I struggled more than I had expected in corners that I usually love. With rain on the way it should still turn into a good race - if there isn't then it will get tough for us. My ideal for the race would be that it rains enough tomorrow so that we can still race - but not enough that we might as well be swimming!