Sebastian Vettel: “I’m not running away from anything”

After confirming to his team on Friday and to the world on Saturday, Sebastian Vettel spoke about the reasons why he was leaving the Infiniti Red Bull Racing team at the end of the 2014 Formula 1 season.

Vettel has had a long-term relationship with Red Bull, but felt it was time to depart the team and do something new, and although his plans for 2015 have yet to be confirmed, he is likely to end up at the Scuderia Ferrari team to replace Fernando Alonso.

“Red Bull and I have had an incredible run together,” insisted Vettel. “I’m leaving a very happy place and of course it’s difficult but at some point you want to do something different. We had a good time and I hope we have a good final five races.

“I’m not leaving because I don’t like the team nor because I don’t like individuals nor the situation, I’m not running away from anything – it felt like the right time and the voice inside me and hunger to do something new was bigger. So, even though it’s not the easiest decision to live with, you have to listen to your heart and go in your direction.

“I feel ready and the time is right to start something new. It’s a very difficult decision after 15 years together with Red Bull, it’s a tough day.”

His current team-mate Daniel Ricciardo admitted his shock at hearing the news of Vettel’s imminent departure, but was happy to race alongside the four-time World Champion for a season at the team.

”I was quite surprised by Sebastian’s news,” insisted Ricciardo. “I didn’t know before this morning; it’s two pretty big changes for the team, Sebastian leaving and Daniil [Kvyat] coming in, but Seb’s done his work here at Red Bull and he feels it’s time to move on.

“I’m glad I got one year to race with him and see how he works, I heard a lot about his work ethic before the season and it was good to see that this year and to go against him.”