Horner: No doubt that Vettel would extend contract

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Christian Horner has said that he never had any doubt that Sebastian Vettel would extend his contract with Red Bull Racing, calling the deal a “formality”.

Vettel joined the team in 2009 and has won three drivers’ world championships with Red Bull, and it was confirmed earlier this week that the German driver has extended his contract with the team until the end of 2015. To Horner though, it was merely a formality.

Talking to Press Association, Horner said: “It was more of a formality than anything else. We have a long-term agreement with Sebastian, and it was just perfect timing for both sides to extend for another year.”

Rumors had been circulating which suggested that the youngest ever world champion may desire a change of team in order to prove that he can win in more than one car, with Ferrari and Mercedes mooted as potential destinations. However, Horner sees no reason for Vettel to walk away at the end of his deal.

“He’s been part of the Red Bull family, since starting out as a junior, for more than 12 years now, so he’s grown up with Red Bull.  He’s achieved all 29 victories in cars designed by Adrian [Newey], and he is still growing and developing as a driver.

“He enjoys the environment he is working in, we enjoy having him and working with him. It’s a relationship that works.”

Verstappen doesn’t want F1 season to end after recent run of form

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Max Verstappen says he is not ready for the 2017 Formula 1 season to come to an end after enjoying a run of strong form through the closing stages of the campaign.

Verstappen endured a rocky run of form through to the end of the European season that saw him suffer a number of reliability issues and score just a single podium finish, taking third in China back in April.

However, the Dutchman has rallied to score more points than any other driver in the last five races, including victories in Malaysia and Mexico, as well as a podium finish in Japan.

Verstappen heads into next weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix chasing a third win of the year to sign off, but joked he does not want the season to end just as he’s got into a good groove.

“We will, of course, try and end the season with a strong result in Abu Dhabi,” Verstappen said. “Last year was actually quite a good race after skipping a pit stop following a spin at Turn 1, it was hard to manage the tires to the end of the race but we did it and finished fourth.

“I would say that my favorite part of the track is at Turns 2 and 3, the fast left, right. It’s also very cool driving underneath the hotel and racing in the darkness with all the lights.

“The final sector at Yas Marina is actually quite technical so you have to be really precise there, but it should also be our strongest part of the track.

“There are quite a few overtaking opportunities to make the race interesting, before the long straight at the hairpin and then at the end of the straight under braking for the next chicane section.

“Abu Dhabi is the last race on the calendar, but I don’t actually want the season to end. I’m really fired up at the moment and I just want to keep going.

“The nice thing will be to spend some time with friends and family over the winter break and then I will look ahead to January and get back into training before it all starts again.”