BERLIN, July 23 – Red Bull starlet Sebastian Vettel can be world champion by 2011, team manager Dietrich Mateschitz said on Wednesday."Next year or, at the latest, the year after that," energy drink billionaire Mateschitz told Sport Bild magazine, adding he believed the team would be able to keep the 22-year-old over that period if not longer.
"Sebastian fels good with us. There is no reason why he would want to move on as long as we can build him a car which he can win with," added the 65-year-old.
"If we can’t do that we’d have to let him go anyway. He wants to be world champion and must look out for himself."
Going into Sunday’s Hungarian Grand Prix, Red Bull are very much in contention with both two-time season winner Vettel and Australian teammate Mark Webber, the latter having just won the German Grand Prix for his maiden triumph.
Vettel won the British Grand Prix and the Chinese Grand Prix and now has 47 points to trail championship leader Jenson Button by 21 points.
Webber is in hot pursuit with 45.5 points.
Mateschitz said the team had quickly realised that head designer Adrian Newey had put together a good car.
"We deliberately did the first tests on full tanks so that nobody realised how quick our car really is."