Sebastian Vettel will leave Red Bull at the end of the 2014 season, the team has confirmed.
The German joined the Milton Keynes-based squad ahead of the 2009 season and the combination has been the dominant force in Formula One ever since, with Vettel claiming 4 consecutive world championship crowns, 38 Grand Prix victories, and 44 poles over the past 6 seasons.
Red Bull also confirmed that Daniil Kvyat, who has impressed for sister team Toro Rosso during his rookie season this year, will be promoted to the main team alongside Daniel Ricciardo in 2015.
An official statement from Red Bull read:
Sebastian Vettel has advised us that he will be leaving Infiniti Red Bull Racing at the end of the 2014 season. We want to warmly thank Sebastian for the incredible role he has played at Infiniti Red Bull Racing for the last 6 years. As we wish Sebastian well in the next stage of his career, we also look to the future with excitement, as the vacancy makes way for the next generation of Red Bull racers.
The Red Bull Junior Programme has developed some proven talents in recent times, including Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo, who has excelled in the RB10 and become a 3-time Formula One race winner in his first season with the team. We’re pleased to announce that Daniel will be joined in the team for 2015 by another rising star from the Junior Programme, Daniil Kvyat.
His departure has massive significance in terms of the driver market. The 27-year-old has been widely tipped to move to Ferrari, with Fernando Alonso strongly linked with a switch back to McLaren, alongside either Jenson Button or Kevin Magnussen.
Kvyat’s promotion meanwhile means a seat will open up at Toro Rosso next year. Rookie Max Verstappen is already confirmed with the team for 2015.
Vettel is expected to announce his future plans shortly.