Don’t expect to see Sebastian Vettel in a Ferrari later this year as Red Bull won’t allow him to test for “any team” before his contract is over.
This year, Formula 1 will conduct a two-day test at the Yas Marina circuit in the wake of the season-ending Abu Dhabi GP.
And although Vettel’s days of racing for Red Bull will be over, the team will keep him under contract for a further five days.
As such he won’t be making an early debut with Ferrari – or with “any team” for that matter.
Asked about a possible early release in Austin, the 27-year-old initially tried to deflect.
“First of all I’m looking forward to the race here and to enjoy the last races I will have with the team,” he said.
“Obviously, we’ve experienced a lot in the last couple of years so I think it will be a very special moment coming up in Abu Dhabi for our last race.
“But yes, obviously I’m not allowed to do the test for any team after the race in Abu Dhabi, although right now it’s not really my focus.
“I think there are reasons for that and you can understand what they are.”
Pressed as to whether he had expected Red Bull to agree to an early release, the four-time World Champion said: “Not really.”
As to why there has been no official announcement of his switch to Ferrari, Vettel added: “There is not really a specific reason.
“At this stage we still have to wait, and I hope very soon I can give you some news.”