Sebastian Vettel says that Red Bull Racing securing the future of key team personnel like Adrian Newey was vital for him electing to remain at the team for the next few years.
The World Champion announced on the eve of this season that he had extended his contract until the end of 2014, as part of a series of moves that included around 50 senior personnel at the squad also signing new contracts. In an interview with Italian magazine Autosprint, Vettel confirmed that having the commitment of key staff – including Newey – played a vital role in his decision to remain on board.
"Yes, but not only about Adrian," he said, when asked if he sought guarantees about Newey's commitment. "It's difficult to plan for the future; you never know what can happen. Perhaps when I go back to the hotel I fall down the stairs, break a leg, and don't win any more races this year?
"Adrian is one of the most important people in the team, but you ask about everyone – how many years are left in their contracts, whether they are happy, etc. I wanted to lengthen my contract, but not in a completely different team."
Vettel's decision to commit to Red Bull Racing brought a swift end to speculation linking him with a switch to Ferrari, although the issue is likely to be resurrected over the next few years.
"Ferrari? If I talk about it so often, it's because I'm often asked about it," he explained when queried about the ongoing rumors. "In fact, there are two reasons: First of all Ferrari is something special, as I've said many times. The second reason is that I have to reply to whoever asks me about it. It's a self-feeding situation.
"For me Ferrari is a legend. One day it would be an honor for me to have my name on the list of Ferrari drivers. But that doesn't mean I want to go there now. I'm happy where I am and this is why I've renewed for a couple of seasons."