Sebastian Vettel on his way to Ferrari
Formula 1 world champion Sebastian Vettel has confirmed he will leave Red Bull after being lured from the team that put him on top of the podium time and again by a big offer from Ferrari.
The 27-year-old announced on Saturday morning that he would not be racing for Red Bull next season, having won the title with them in all of the last four years.
This season has seen the team unable to compete with the Mercedes pair of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg on a regular basis and Vettel will relinquish the firm grip he has had on the championship having only collected 124 points so far this year, with no wins to his name.
Vettel is thought to have accepted an offer to join Ferrari and he admitted the time had come to make a change in his career.
"At some point in your life when you grow up at home you decide to move out," he said.
"After 15 years together with Red Bull it is a big step like that, it feels like leaving home but there is a desire and a hunger to do something new and that is what made me decide to shut one door and open another.
"You could look at it and say we are not successful so it feels like the right time but that is not the case."
The widely-anticipated move down the paddock to join Ferrari has yet to be made but it is largely expected that will be Vettel's new home from 2015.
Having qualified down in ninth for Sunday's Japanese Grand Prix hours after the news was confirmed, Vettel is certain the move is coming at the right time.
"As I have said it is always a a big step when a very good relationship comes to an end. There is nothing negative in the air at all. It is not like I'm leaving here because I don't like it or the people any more," he added.
"It was difficult for me after such a long and successful time together, it is a decision that grows with time.
"It is not the first time I have had the opportunity over the years to do something different but it felt now that it was time for something else.
"It is the right time – I'm looking forward to the challenge. I cannot officially announce anything but very shortly I think I will be able to. I believe in the decision and it is a step that I believe will make me very happy. There was a voice inside me that kept growing."