According to Helmut Marko, Sebastian Vettel’s decision to leave Red Bull was largely inspired by his hunt for fresh motivation following a difficult 2014 season.
Red Bull confirmed on Saturday morning that Vettel, who has been largely overshadowed by his team-mate Daniel Ricciardo this season, would be leaving the team at the end of the year, to be replaced by Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat.
Vettel, who is widely expected to replace Fernando Alonso at Ferrari, has been backed by Red Bull throughout his career and raced for Toro Rosso before stepping up to the senior squad in 2009 – going on to claim 38 wins, 45 pole positions and four drivers’ titles for Red Bull Racing.
Despite the surprise nature of the announcement, Marko, Red Bull’s motorsport advisor admitted that the split was an amicable one.
“Last couple of days the whole thing happened,” he said. “But we split it amicably, you know. There’s no bad feeling either on our side or on his side.
”We discussed it. He’s looking for new motivation for new challenges so life goes on. And it was no problem, we decided immediately to take Kvyat and hope to repeat the story with another junior from us.
”I’m not sad because we had a fantastic time, we had some fantastic success.”
Kvyat and Ricciardo will make up Red Bull’s 2015 driver line-up, with an official confirmation that Vettel will join Ferrari expected shortly.
Image courtesy of Red Bull Media/Getty Images