Dietrich Mateschitz has invited Sebastian Vettel to sign a long-term contract guaranteeing him a competitive car each season.

Dietrich Mateschitz has invited Sebastian Vettel to sign a long-term contract guaranteeing him a competitive car each season.

New world champion Vettel remains under contract only to the end of next year, and last week he nominated Ferrari and Mercedes as "the past, present and certainly the future of formula one".

"But this (move) is still a long way away," he wrote in a column for Bild newspaper.

Red Bull mogul Mateschitz thinks Red Bull is safe so long as it continues to deliver the young German a top car.

"If not, we would let him go even if he had a contract," he told Welt am Sonntag newspaper.

And Mateschitz told the Cologne tabloid Express: "Seb wants to drive for Ferrari some day. We will make it as difficult a decision for him as possible."

Dr Helmut Marko stood on the podium with Vettel in Abu Dhabi, and even he admits that the lure of Ferrari for a F1 driver is strong.

But the Austrian does not think the Italian team will want to "hurt" Fernando Alonso by pitting the Spaniard against Vettel any time soon.

"We all know the political sensitivities at Ferrari. And he (Vettel) has seen with us that he has a comfort factor.

"He needs a team that doesn't throw a knife in your back at the sign of trouble," said Marko, Red Bull's motor racing consultant.

"Let's be clear: there is not going to be a ten-year contract, because we are not able to guarantee we will have a competitive car for that long. And Sebastian cannot guarantee that he will always be comfortable with us.

"But in the medium term, the next three or four years, we are firmly planning to be with him," he revealed.

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