Vettel to leave Red Bull, Kvyat to join Ricciardo

It has been announced ahead of free practice three in Japan on Saturday that Sebastian Vettel will leave the Infiniti Red Bull Racing team at the end of his season, with Ferrari seemingly his destination as a replacement for the outgoing Fernando Alonso.

In a surprise statement, Red Bull confirmed the four-time World Drivers’ Champion had advised them that he would be leaving at the end of the 2014 season.

Additionally it has been announced that Toro Rosso’s young Russian driver Daniil Kvyat will join the team as team-mate to Daniel Ricciardo, leaving a space vacant alongside teenager Max Verstappen.

This news could be good news for Carlos Sainz Jr, who might get to drive for Toro Rosso next season after all after the current Formula Renault 3.5 Series championship leader was initially overlooked in favour of Verstappen.

“We want to warmly thank Sebastian for the incredible role he has played at Infiniti Red Bull Racing for the last six years,” said the Red Bull statement. “As we wish Sebastian well in the next stage of his career, we also look to the future with excitement, as the vacancy makes way for the next generation of Red Bull racers.

“The Red Bull Junior Programme has developed some proven talents in recent times, including Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo, who has excelled in the RB10 and become a three-time Formula One race winner in his first season with the team.

“We’re pleased to announce that Daniel will be joined in the team for 2015 by another rising star from the Junior Programme, Daniil Kvyat.”