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2013-02-18 14:31

HANDS OFF VETTEL: Niki Lauda (above) claims that Sebastian Vettel is in a long-tern contract with Red Bull.

Sebastian Vettel is locked into a "long term" contract with Red Bull, according to Niki Lauda.

Triple World champion Lauda, now the Mercedes team's chairman, revealed he is aware of the precise term of the reigning World champion's current deal.

VETTEL CONFUSION

Lauda said: "I know Sebastian's contract with Red Bull and its long term. That's why we didn't try to take him under contract at Mercedes."

At the same time, Red Bull team owner Dietrich Mateschitz told Italy's La Gazzetta dello Sport daily that Vettel was committed until the end of 2014, "anything else was never in question".

Which begs the question of what about 2015 and beyond? Would Red Bull consider signing Fernando Alonso, should German Vettel be wooed to Ferrari, which has ruled out putting the two together?

"If Alonso is still racing, then why not?” Mateschitz asked.

The publicity-shy team owner also steered away from right-hand man Marko's recent criticism of Mark Webber, saying one of Red Bull's strengths has been its "perfect drivers".

 "Webber is both a strong and charismatic character and an exceptional driver.”

He did, however, acknowledged that many in F1 would like to see Red Bull beaten in 2013. "It's an understandable desire, but it's also understandable that we are going to try to prevent it."

Mateschitz said sports such as F1 would always be an important part of the energy drink Red Bull's budget and was not ruling out entering the world of two wheels.

"MotoGP is a fantastic sport that has always fascinated me," he said, admitting a foray for Red Bull was "certainly conceivable".


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