Vettel could call off RBR switch – Lauda

UPDATE (GMM) Sebastian Vettel has played down claims his move from Toro Rosso to Red Bull's senior team in 2009 is a backwards step for his career.

The Monza winner is set to graduate to Red Bull Racing, who are struggling to match the pace of the Ferrari-powered Toro Rosso team despite fielding a near-identical chassis and a much bigger budget.

The performance difference between the sister teams has moved observers like former triple world champion Niki Lauda to observe that Vettel, 21, might do better to simply stay put.

But F1's youngest ever grand prix winner said: "I am very confident for next year and I don't believe that it is a step back."

"I am still convinced that it is the right way to go for next year," the German told F1's official website.

Vettel, to complete the last four races of 2008 with Toro Rosso, spent two days at the wheel of Red Bull's RB4 at Jerez last week, not only to acclimatize to his next team but to give feedback about how RBR might improve.

"Obviously there is a lot to do," he said. "I believe it would be unfair to say that they are worse than Toro Rosso at the moment."

He thinks Red Bull is just struggling with the finer details of its package at the moment.

"This year formula one in the midfield is very tight so if you give away two or three tenths here, and another two or three tenths there, then quicker than you think you lose half a second. And that makes a huge difference on the starting grid," said Vettel.

09/24/08 (GMM) Niki Lauda would not be surprised if, with the blessing of Dietrich Mateschitz, Monza winner Sebastian Vettel calls off his switch to Red Bull Racing for 2009.

The 21-year-old currently drives for Red Bull's junior team Toro Rosso, which with the Ferrari customer engine is currently showing higher performance than its Renault-powered parent.

"Vettel should do a comparison test in the winter with the Toro Rosso and the Red Bull and decide then," Lauda, the former triple world champion and now regular F1 commentator, told Sport Bild.

Lauda, 59, believes Vettel's contract is with Red Bull, rather than with either of Mateschitz's teams.

"Mateschitz is a logically-thinking guy," said Lauda, who is also an Austrian.

"He wants to have success with his brand. So if he sees that it would be best to leave Vettel with Toro Rosso, I am sure he would do that," he added.

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