Red Bull’s team principal Christian Horner insists Sebastian Vettel will stay with the team through the 2014 season amid fresh reports of a move to Ferrari.
"Absolutely, he will be here in 2014, no doubt about it," Horner told Sky Sports.
Ferrari’s re-signing of Felipe Massa to a single-year deal for 2013 sparked speculation that the Italian team was lining up a move for a big name in 2014, and there was speculation that Vettel’s contract had outs that would permit a move in 2014.
Red Bull’s Mark Webber is also on a one-year deal for 2013.
Meanwhile Ferrari went ahead with a contentious decision to carry the Italian navy flag on its cars during practice for the Indian Grand Prix, in solidarity with two Italian navy personnel who are being held in the country over the shooting of two Indian fishermen.
The Italian pair are accused of killing the fishermen off southern India in February, mistaking them for pirates. The Italian navy was protecting an Italian cargo ship in the Indian Ocean. The pair have been granted bail but must remain in India. Italy have insisted they should be able to return home as the incident took place in international waters.
Ferrari’s decision is controversial because the sport’s rules prohibit racial, political or religious gestures. A Ferrari spokesman was quoted in the Indian Express newspaper to say: "We have utmost respect for the Indian authorities. We just hope that a solution can be found as soon as possible."
Ferrari’s decision was hailed by the Italian foreign minister Guilio Terzi, who tweeted: "Congratulations to Ferrari for displaying the navy’s symbol at the India GP. It will show the sailors the whole country is behind them."
The Indian and Italian government officials held meetings in February but no agreement could be reached. The naval guards – Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone – spent four months in confinement as Indian police opened murder charges against them. They were given bail in June but have to make regular court appearances.