Sebastian Vettel has reassured Red Bull Racing that he is not in talks with Ferrari, says RBR team principal Christian Horner, who expects the two-time defending World Champion to remain with his squad for the long term.
Speculation that Vettel could join Ferrari from 2014 has intensified in recent weeks, prompted in part by Ferrari chief Stefano Domenicali saying he could envisage Vettel and Fernando Alonso "co-existing" as teammates very successfully. But speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Horner insisted there was no truth to rumors that Vettel had already committed to a Ferrari future, or that he was even negotiating one.
"I have spoken with Sebastian about it and he's made it quite clear that he hasn't had any dialogue and hasn't signed anything with Ferrari," Horner told Reuters. "The rumor mill always will continue...
"I think most of our team has been going to Ferrari at some point this year, whether it be Adrian [Newey], Mark [Webber], Sebastian, even myself at one stage was supposed to be going."
Horner said he did not envisage Vettel wanting to leave Red Bull in the near future.
"Sebastian is very comfortable in the team, the team is very comfortable with Sebastian," he said. "He's been with Red Bull for over 12 years now and I think he will be us for quite a few years to come. I have no concern over Sebastian and where he will be in 2013, 2014 or beyond."
He added that he did not believe Ferrari held any real emotional pull for Vettel or that the German held any particular ambition to drive for the legendary Italian team during his career.
"I don't think Ferrari is a must for him," said Horner. "He's very happy where he is, achieving great results where he is and he's focused on trying to achieve a lot more."