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2014 F1

Vettel, Red Bull deny Alonso seat swap

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Formula One World Championship, Rd 7, Canadian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Montreal, Canada, Saturday 11 June 2011.
Before the long-haul flight to Singapore, world champion Sebastian Vettel and his team have denied the latest sensational ‘silly season’ rumour.

Germany’s Sport Bild reports on Tuesday that dissatisfied Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso could take Vettel’s place at Red Bull for 2015, in a straight ‘swap’ deal with the fabled Maranello team.

Vettel immediately denied it.

“There is nothing new,” he said. “I have a contract with Red Bull and I’m happy where I am.”

Earlier reports, however, had suggested the deal was done, and would be announced on Tuesday.

Dr Helmut Marko said on Tuesday: “Alonso will definitely not be at Red Bull.”

And in another sure sign that Red Bull’s commitment to Vettel is far from wavering, even despite his disappointing 2014 campaign, Marko insisted the team will not be bowing to Daniel Ricciardo’s request for team orders.

“We have no team orders and there will be done,” he said clearly.

Vettel will have yet another new chassis at his disposal this weekend in Singapore, and Marko added: “If Sebastian can win, then he is allowed to — whether Daniel is behind him or not.

“That is our philosophy.”

Justifying the fourth new chassis of the season for Vettel amid the quadruple world champion’s mysterious handling problems, Marko explained: “Sebastian is too important to the team for him to not be reaching his full potential.”

And team boss Christian Horner added: “I will not say it too loudly, but I have a feeling Sebastian will win in Singapore.” (GMM)

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