Dr. Helmut Marko says Sebastian Vettel’s future is ‘of no relevance’ to Red Bull, as they have enough drivers in their junior ranks.
Rumours have circulated over recent months that Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull are currently trying to negotiate a reunion for either 2020 or 2021. Vettel was the first true success of the Red Bull junior programme as he rose through the ranks with their backing before becoming Red Bull’s sole World Champion between 2010 and 2013.
Now in his fifth year with Ferrari and with success continuing to elude him, there has been suggestions that Vettel is interested in returning to Red Bull and that they are interested in having him back. With most of the current Red Bull affiliated drivers quite young, inexperienced and unproven, there is some logic to the rumour but Helmut Marko has poured cold water over the possibility.
Speaking to Red Bull publication Speedweek, Marko said: “I have no idea what Vettel’s future is. We had some wonderful years together, but we have our four drivers. Vettel has no relevance for us.”
With the exception of Max Verstappen, the rest of the Red Bull F1 driver programme is somewhat less established. With Pierre Gasly demoted to Toro Rosso from RBR a few weeks ago, his position is shaky with Marko saying the Frenchman ‘needing to show performance and consistency’ to have a chance at being kept on or re-promoted to the senior team.
Alex Albon, who has taken Gasly’s seat for the remainder of 2019 has fared quite well in his two races so far but is far from guaranteed staying on at the senior team for 2020. Marko says the decision regarding their respective team line-ups will be announced sometime after the United States Grand Prix in November. While Verstappen will stay on at RBR, it’s completely up in the air as to whether Albon, Gasly or Daniil Kvyat could end up in the second seat or even whether one or two of them could be released completely.
Aside from F1, Marko also has hinted that their Japanese Formula 3 driver Yuki Tsunoda will step up to Formula 2 while the future of Juri Vips is yet to revealed.