Vettel signs to drive for Red Bull until 2011
Sebastian Vettel has signed a contract extension to remain at Red Bull until the end of 2011, and with a further option to race for the team in 2012.
The deal takes both Red Bull drivers off the market, which is hotting up now that the Concorde agreement has been signed and BMW have quit. - Webber was confirmed for 2010 just a few weeks ago.
If you look at the options available it's probably the best deal for both Sebastian and the team. Ferrari look to have the problem of too many drivers for the foreseeable future, will Felipe fully recover? Will Kimi take a sidestep to rallying? McLaren have one seat available, but with the condition of becoming a number two driver to Lewis; anyway they seem to be lining up Nico Rosberg for the seat. Brawn, Renault, Toyota? - that'd be like putting your career on a lottery ticket.
As long as Red Bull retain the services of one mister Adrian Newey - and indications are that he will stay on even if they do win this years championship – there seems to be no better bet than to stay with the Milton Keynes based squad for the young German.
Dietrich Mateschitz isn't likely to pull out of F1 anytime soon. Reports out recently indicated the energy drink company had done well despite the economic downturn, and especially as his team has come good this year – the marketing benefit of a having winning team will be considerably increased, an important boost in these uncertain times.
Next year's technical regulations are not significantly different to the current season's, numerous paddock sources are coming out to say that next year's cars will be evolutionary rather than the more-or-less blank sheet of paper everyone started with for this year. This year's Red Bull, the RB5 has proven good, very good, and to think that it is a compromised design – it was never conceived to run with a double diffuser, there no doubt will be significant tweaks that Newey is working away on to improve the package for next year.
The last thing to ponder is that while widely tipped, Sebastian isn't the real deal – albeit yet. Yes he's won two races - and in some style - this year, but he has also made some mistakes. The one that stands out in my mind is his crash in Monaco, oh and his tangle with Robert Kubica in Australia wasn't too impressive either. There is also a question about his overtaking ability, when stuck behind a slower car he just hasn't been able to pull the overtaking manoeuvre of the like Jenson Button, or Mark Webber have.
I didnt want to end on a negative note, this is great news for both parties, both have made huge improvement and progress in the last 12 months, and everything seems in place to follow that trend into next season and hopefully beyond.