Sebastian Vettel insists he does not feel like he is being treated like an outsider at Red Bull, even though he is leaving to join Ferrari for 2015.
The outgoing world champion is heading to his final race with Red Bull at this weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, having agreed to join Ferrari at the Japanese Grand Prix.
And although his switch of teams has meant Red Bull has been more careful about informing him of its 2015 plans, he says that relations are still good inside the team.
“I’ve been with the team for long enough to know what’s going on so I don’t get pushed outside,” he said. “After five years you know someone and I think there’s mutual trust.
“For sure the stuff that happens on the car for next year doesn’t get discussed with me, which is normal. But equally there is stuff that we test here on the track which I’m sure is some of the stuff that is used next year.
“From the team’s point of view it’s the best foot forward to use both of the cars to do that. Surely if it’s any kind of secret I wouldn’t know about [it] since I told them that I would leave.
“But I don’t get pushed out, so I don’t feel like the third wheel on the wagon.”
FERRARI FORM NO ISSUE FOR NOW
Although Ferrari’s competitive situation has highlighted the challenge that Vettel faces from next year, he says there is little point worrying about what the team is doing now.
“My way is to always try and do the best I can on the day and go step-by-step,” he said.
“It’s always difficult to judge performance from the outside, that’s why it’s easiest to know exactly what’s going on in your team, [but] what the others are doing is very difficult.
“Williams, for example, it’s difficult for people outside to know what they are doing on a Friday – whether they are just slow and got lucky so many times, which I don’t think is the case – or they’re doing something else and therefore they’re not showing their true pace on a Friday compared to Saturday.
“I don’t think it makes much sense to waste my time doing that too much.”