Red Bull Racing team boss Christian Horner said he was pleased to put an early end to speculation about Sebastian Vettel's long-term future by signing him through the end of the 2014 season.
The World Champion's Red Bull deal had been set to expire at the end of this year, though he had an option for 2012. AUTOSPORT revealed this morning that a contract extension had been agreed, with the team confirming the news shortly afterward.
There had been speculation over the winter that Vettel might be eyeing an eventual move to Ferrari, or that Mercedes had the young German in its sights, and Horner said it was important to remove any such distracting talk.
"It's good to have it done and tidied up prior to the beginning of the season – rumors had already started about other teams," Horner told Britain's BBC. "We were keen to take away that distraction and concentrate on the racing."
The team boss said it had not taken long to agree to terms with Vettel.
"Sebastian feels very comfortable within the team and the team feels very comfortable with him," said Horner. "We started to talk about it earlier in the year and it came together quickly."
Vettel has been with Red Bull Racing since 2009, but was supported by the team's partner drinks company's young driver program for over a decade before then.
"He's been with Red Bull since 1998, so it was a logical thing to do," Horner said. "It was a straightforward and quick discussion."