Red Bull team boss Christian Horner has firmly shut the door to Sebastian Vettel joining Red Bull in 2021.
Ahead of this weekend's Styrian Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring, speculation ramped up once again about Vettel's future and a possible return to Red Bull Racing, fueled in part by the German's comments on Thursday when he said he would be open to reuniting with the team with which he conquered his four world titles.
But Horner has poured cold water on that prospect once and for all.
"Obviously the topic has been raised," Horner told Sky Sports F1. During Friday's FP1 session.
"We had a brilliant time with Seb, he’ll forever be a part of our history, but we didn’t expect him to be on the market this year, and our commitment is to our existing drivers.
"We think we have a great pairing in Max and Alex, and we think that has great potential for the future as well, so unfortunately it’s not something that we’re going to be able to accommodate.
"That is a definite no I’m afraid, Sebastian is aware of that. It’s unusual for a four time world champion to be out of a drive at this point in the year so I guess he has got a couple of choices available to him, assuming Racing Point or a year out and re-evaluate the options in a year’s time."
Racing Point is also seen as a potential destination for Vettel by pundits, although Sergio Perez is contracted to the pink squad for 2021 while it's hard to imaging Lance Stroll departing the family outfit.
"I don’t think Lance is going to get parked," Horner said. "
"Of course, drivers' contracts between the teams, you never know what is within them, it’s only the contract recognition board which has full sight of them.
"I’m sure perhaps they have options or break points, but that’s really none of our business."