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2012 ‘option’ to keep Vettel at Red Bull

A results clause in Sebastian Vettel’s contract means the reigning world champion is unlikely to leave Red Bull at the end of this year.

Having become F1’s youngest ever title winner in 2010, the 23-year-old German has been linked with a high profile move to Ferrari.

Vettel remains under contract for 2011, but it was believed that the ‘option’ relating to 2012 was exercisable by either the driver or the Austrian team.

But in an article published by the Red Bull-owned Speed Week magazine, it is revealed that if Vettel wins a prescribed number of races this year, and finishes the championship in the top three, he will be locked in for 2012.

The editorial said that all the speculation about Vettel’s future beyond 2011 was “written without knowledge of his contractual situation” regarding the 2012 option.

“There is an option based on the results,” Red Bull’s Helmut Marko confirmed.  “We will not just let a top driver go.”