Sunday 13 September at 09:35 :
Sep.13 (GMM) Red Bull has denied it could be about to lose legendary F1 car designer Adrian Newey.
After weeks of looking miserable amid Ferrari's decline and his impending departure from the Italian team and perhaps Formula 1, Sebastian Vettel was suddenly smiling at Mugello.
His mood might have been a touch of cheekiness as the timing of the Aston Martin announcement coincided with Ferrari's 1000th race celebrations at Mugello.
Indeed, things are suddenly looking up for the quadruple world champion, as he has the full backing of Aston Martin team owner Lawrence Stroll for 2021 and beyond, and even the background involvement of Toto Wolff.
"The knowledge that Sebastian brings is crucial for the team," said Wolff, the Mercedes team boss who is also a minor Aston Martin shareholder.
"He will move everyone forward."
Now, there are even rumours that Vettel could reunite with Newey, who designed all of the 33-year-old's title winning Red Bull cars last decade.
Newey went part-time at Red Bull several years ago, with team boss Christian Horner admitting at Monza that the state of F1 and the difficult relationship with Renault had soured the 61-year-old's motivation.
Horner insisted that the new situation with Honda had re-fired Newey's full involvement.
So when asked about the new Aston Martin rumours, Red Bull's Dr Helmut Marko told Sport1 at Mugello: "Adrian is definitely under contract with us."
Attempting to explain the speculation, Marko added: "Adrian was recently able to test a rare Aston Martin and he thanked Stroll for it.
"There's nothing more."
Meanwhile, Racing Point boss Otmar Szafnauer played down suggestions that Vettel could carry over his sluggish Ferrari form to Aston Martin next year.
He claims Vettel simply feels unsupported at Ferrari.
"We all need a little love sometimes - especially when you're mentally pushing the limit all the time," said Szafnauer, who will also run the Silverstone based team after the Aston Martin rebranding.
"It will be our job to put our arms around him and show him what this team is about. I think he will blossom with us."