(Please note strong language in the third paragraph)
By Abhishek Takle
GREATER NOIDA, India (Reuters) - Formula One champion Sebastian Vettel knocked on the head speculation of a move to Ferrari in 2014 by declaring his loyalty to Red Bull after winning the Indian Grand Prix on Sunday.
The German, speeding towards his third consecutive title after chalking up four wins in a row, said that he wanted to reassure team mates that media rumours had no substance.
“You don’t know every single person in the team and it’s hard to speak to every single one, but if there’s some bullshit in the press obviously there might be some concerns back in the factory,” Vettel told reporters.
“I‘m 100 percent behind them (the team) as I feel they’re 100 percent behind me and therefore I want to get this straight. There’s nothing to report and I‘m very happy at Red Bull Racing,” he said.
Vettel, sitting alongside Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso - his closest rival - in a post-race news conference in which they later joked about swapping caps, reiterated he had signed nothing with the Italian team.
Ferrari have announced an unchanged line up for 2013, extending Felipe Massa’s contract for another year, but the speculation about a possible Vettel pre-contract for 2014 has refused to die down.
The German has been backed by Red Bull for most of his motor-racing career, from 12 or 13 years old, and took his first race win with sister team Toro Rosso.
Both his titles have come at the wheel of a Red Bull and, now 13 points ahead of Alonso with three races to go, he is favourite to become the youngest ever triple world champion at the end of the year.
Team principal Christian Horner said Vettel and the team had a strong bond.
“We both know exactly where we stand now and for the future. All members (of the team) read the media and they read the internet so it was important to dispel any speculation that he may be going elsewhere,” he said.
“He’s an important part of this team and hopefully that will continue for many years to come.”
Editing by Alan Baldwin