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Vettel commits to Red Bull to 2014

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Vettel commits to Red Bull to 2014
Mar 14, 2011, 3:35 PM

World champion Sebastian Vettel today committed himself to stay with the Red Bull team until the end of 2014 at least.

World champion Sebastian Vettel today committed himself to stay with the Red Bull team until the end of 2014 at least.

Vettel is just 23 years old now and will still be only 27 at the end of this contract extension, traditionally seen as the age when a driver enters the peak period of his career. Fernando Alonso is in that period now; he turns 30 this year and will be 33 when Vettel's contract runs out. By that time Alonso will have been in F1 for 14 years.

The move will certainly put an end to stories about Vettel and Ferrari for a while, which will be a relief, but they are bound to come back when the contract moves close to its expiry date. He looks like a natural successor to Alonso; it's hard to imagine them working together in the team - the cost would be a major issue too - so it's really a question of whether Alonso is still cutting it at 33 and how much longer he wants to race for and what Red Bull's plans are at that stage.

There is a great deal of loyalty on his side to Red Bull, but he will have been driving in F1 with them (and Toro Rosso) for eight years when this deal ends.

I don't know the details of Vettel's extension package and remuneration, but I imagine that he has moved from a small retainer plus large bonus deal to something more akin to what Alonso and Lewis Hamilton have where they earn in the region of €15 million a year, with retainer being the larger portion of the sum.

That said, Vettel's prospects of getting results looks pretty rosy this year; the RB7 looks like the car to beat going into the first race next week.

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Series Formula 1
Drivers Sebastian Vettel Shop Now