Formula 1’s worst kept secret is out with Ferrari confirming Sebastian Vettel for the 2015 campaign.
Vettel announced at the Japanese GP that he is to leave Red Bull at the end of the season and Ferrari finally revealed the inevitable on Thursday when they confirmed the German will partner Kimi Raikkonen next year, with Fernando Alonso making way.
Two-time World Champion Alonso’s departure was also made official on Thursday, but he is yet to confirm his plans for 2015 with McLaren his likely destination.
Vettel joins Ferrari on a three-year deal after six successful years with Red Bull during which he won four consecutive Drivers’ Championships from 2010-2013 and also helped the team to win four Constructors titles.
“The next stage of my Formula 1 career will be spent with Scuderia Ferrari and for me that means the dream of a lifetime has come true…” Vettel said on the official Ferrari website.
“When I was a kid, Michael Schumacher in the red car was my greatest idol and now it’s an incredible honour to finally get the chance to drive a Ferrari. I already got a small taste of what the Ferrari spirit means, when I took my first win at Monza in 2008, with an engine from the Prancing Horse built in Maranello. The Scuderia has a great tradition in this sport and I am extremely motivated to help the team get back to the top. I will put my heart and soul into making it happen.”
Ferrari team principal Marco Mattiacci believes Vettel and Raikkkonen will help the team to return to the front.
“In Formula 1 terms, Sebastian Vettel is a unique combination of youthfulness and experience and he brings with him that sense of team spirit which will prove invaluable when, together with Kimi, they tackle the challenges awaiting us, as we aim to be front runners again as soon as possible,” he said.
“With Sebastian, we all share a thirst for victory as well as enthusiasm, a strong work ethic and tenacity; key elements for all the Scuderia members to write together a new winning chapter in the history of Ferrari.”
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