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Webber confirmed for Red Bull in 2013
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Posted By: James Allen  |  10 Jul 2012   |  10:14 am GMT  |  325 comments

Red Bull has confirmed that Mark Webber will stay with the team for the 2013 season, putting to an end speculation that he might move to Ferrari.

The 35 year old Australian took a stirring victory on Sunday and afterwards made some tongue in cheek comments about hoping to stay in F1 next season. Clearly the deal was done before the weekend and was announced on Tuesday morning.

Webber was top of Ferrari’s list to replace Felipe Massa next season, but Red Bull has managed to hold onto him.

Holding onto Sebastian Vettel in 2014 will be the next challenge for the team. He has a complex understanding with Ferrari which could see him join the team provided that a series of performance and other clauses are met in the 2013 season by the Maranello squad. This would see him partner Fernando Alonso from 2014 onwards.

Ferrari are looking for a driver for one year, but with the possibility that he may stay longer if Vettel’s arrival is delayed.

Webber clearly considered the Ferrari opportunity carefully, but decided to stay with a known quantity, even if it’s not stated that the deal is for the two years he was looking for.

It’s not hard to see why he’s staying; Red Bull has made a massive improvement in the car this season and is set to have the upper hand in the second half of the season. A consistent run with more wins for Webber, who heads Vettel in the table, could bring him the drivers’ championship this year, so strong is the Red Bull package now.

“I’ve been with Red Bull Racing since 2007 and have achieved nine grand prix wins during that time,” said Webber. “I’m high on confidence at the moment and firing on all cylinders. I know the team well and I’m very comfortable here; we have grown together over the years and it feels like absolutely the right thing to stay with Red Bull for another season. The Team is constantly working hard to improve in all areas and we’ve shown that together we can win races. It’s great to be able to make this announcement off the back of the win in Silverstone at the weekend and I’m looking forward to competing on the edge and pushing myself in every race again next season.”

Red Bull Racing boss Christian Horner said: “Mark has driven very well in the first nine races of this season and his performance has been impressive. Much of his Formula One success has been during his time with Red Bull Racing and together we have achieved 10 poles, nine wins and 31 podiums. As there was a strong desire from both sides to continue the partnership, it was a logical decision to extend our relationship and it is with great pleasure that we confirm Mark will drive for us in 2013.”

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325 Comments
  1. hal says:

    Good for Mark – if Hamilton can’t get WDC this year (judging by Silverstone Mclaren is probably 5th/6th best now so unlikely that he will) then this guy is next on my list. I sort of wanted him to move to Ferrari and Hamilton to join Red Bull. Would have been really interesting on many fronts.

    1. Dave C says:

      So as long as Vettel or Alonso don’t get the title yeah? Well I’m sure 1 of them 2 best drivers in the world will win the championship as long as reliability and car development don’t become a problem, Seb has been unlucky with the alternator whilst crushing the field, also the front wing damage at silverstone and the rear tyre puncture by a certain HRT have masked Seb’s abilities this year! As goes for Alonso well he just needs the car to be competitive and it’s going that way, I’m sure Vettel will overcome Webber but Hamilton won’t have a chance to go to Ferrari or RBR it looks like Mclaren or Mercedes.

      1. hal says:

        I personally think Vettel is not as good as Alonso and Hamilton. So I do see Webber being able to beat Vettel and hope he does.

  2. Ruse says:

    Hi James,

    So with the door to Red Bull closed, what happens at McLaren, Mercedes and Lotus?

    1. James Allen says:

      Not much change at this three teams. I can’t see Hamilton moving

      1. KRB says:

        Yeah … I think the only option for LH was to go to RBR, and that only after Mateschitz would’ve overruled Horner. I guess Mercedes is an option for LH, but they seem to be having just as much trouble with the tires as McLaren!

        Staying with McLaren is the safest bet for him, though they haven’t been the McLaren of old for ages now.

      2. Steven says:

        Agreed, but with a twist… Lotus will remain as is, they’d be daft not to. Mercedes will retain Rosberg, Schumacher is likely to take on a “Pit-Wall” job at Mercedes in 2013 or 2014 allowing Di Resta to get back into Mercedes with his ol’ mate Norbert Haug… McLaren simply can’t afford to let Hamilton go, they are the most secretive team in the paddock. Lewis knows way too much about their business… past, present & future!

      3. khala says:

        I’d love Hamilton to leave McLaren and join Frank at Williams.
        But Madmaldo will have to go, and with it, the PVDSA money.

        Although how much of the Chavez money is being spent on car repairs, fines and negative publicity anyway?

        Frank wants him more than any other driver on the grid, and with Senna as his teammate they could split the cost on yellow helmet paint.
        ;)

    2. Trent says:

      Somewhat disappointed – we’re due for a big shake up to add yet more spice, I reckon.

      1. Nathan Jones says:

        So gutted. We haven’t had a wholesale-carnage shake-up in an age. Still, if Vettel jumps in 2014, then I think we may have the chance of some real musical chairs.

        Would love to – just for the sake of change, and just to see who can do what against which team mate and in which car – see:

        LH take a 1 year contract now with McL

        Then:

        - Seb goes to Ferrari, to join Fernando – let’s see what you can do, young tyro. Were the pundits right about you, or were the doubting fans?

        - Massa goes … somewhere

        - Lewis goes to Red Bull, to team up with Mark, who ends up liking him even less than he does Seb – cue huge hate match! Love it!

        - Jenson tests McLaren’s patience too far and they come to a ‘mutual agreement’. He gets booted but is then scooped up by the ‘easy-on-tyres’ Lotus posse – no excuses now, mate, this is as versatile as a car gets.

        - Kimmi is kept on by Lotus – just to see if he can win any of the races he keeps on saying he could have won.

        - but McLaren gamble on the promise of Grosjean and snatch him up.

        - Mikey finally gets the message and becomes a spokesman for Merc AMG

        - Sergio Perez goes to Merc to teach the team what they need to do in order to sort out their tyre wear problems.

        Personally, I love a good grudge match, could be because WWF was peppered with them back in the old days and they always made for much better bouts come Wrestlemania time? Would pay money to see bitter fights/intra-team crashes amongst ALO/VET and WEB/HAM. It’d be the best season ever, but only in my dreams, I’m sure.

        -

      2. Nathan Jones says:

        Forgot to add, Senor Smash, Mr Maldonado himself, goes to McLaren to keep up their reputation of aggressive drivers who have been known to get into a punt or two (Senna, Montoya, Lewis). He tries a few too many moves, bends a few too many of McLaren’s end plates, and Ron grabs him by the throat and publicly threatens to sack him during a crash-y practice session.

      3. Lindsay says:

        Are you sure you being gutted is an appropriate emotional response to a driver re-signing?

        You might want to get that checked out…

  3. Raymond YZJ says:

    It will be interesting to see if Mark is kept on for 2014. I wonder if this is strategic on RBR’s part to keep Webber from leaking internal RBR secrets to other teams. 2014 could be enough of a change for a loss of internal secrets from the team to not really compromise things too much.

    1. Sossoliso says:

      Don’t have to keep him come 2012 because all the cars are changing after 2013. New rules kick in for 2014 so everyone buils a new car. Red Bull can then afford to let him go because he would not know wnaything about the Car. Red Bull would not be lamenting too much either for Vettel if he goes come 2014 because they would be building a new Car anyway and every driver on the would want to be in a Red Bull because they are the premier team and will be for a long time. Only issue they might have is if they lose Newey to Some other team.
      I can see Hamilton insisting on a 1 year deal(2013) at McLaren with an option for extension. But McLaren would be smart to say nope, we want 2 with an option. That way they know he is tied down when the new regs come in.

      1. Lindsay says:

        Other than the engine, what other major changes are expected for 2014?

    2. Wade From Australia says:

      Dude, seriously, there would be so much interlectual property rights around how the Red Bull car (just like any other car on the grid) that it would be funny. He would be flogged if he took all the secrets of the RB to Ferrari. Has anyone considered the fact that if Mark went to Ferrari, it was supposedly only for one year – so in staying at RB he has potentially incresed a potential stay at the current team??

  4. Leo says:

    Great news a wise decision !
    Go for it Aussie Grit !

  5. Laurence H says:

    With Massa’s ‘improved’ form at Silverstone, I can see the top teams having no line-up changes nest season. Schumacher is the only question mark now.

    1. Truth or Lies says:

      I am amazed that no one considers here what happens if a driver decides he’s had enough of a team and chooses to leave.
      Hamilton could turn up at Ferrari and what are they going to say, sorry we don’t want you – I doubt it. Those old enough might recall John Watsons experience at the end of 1983 when a certain A Prost was unexpectedly booted out of Renault, he turned up at Woking and well the rest is history.
      I think Massa will continue to improve this season and he might just leave Ferrari, he’s much move than a journey man like Trulli of Kovalinen he’s an 11 time GP winner with 15 poles and championship runner up, so people need to get real here.
      Its also worth noting he’s the top F1 driver from a BRIC country and that counts for an awful lot at present and will be even more important in future, not to mention his recent improved form.
      Perhaps he’ll go to Williams Renault and replace Senna. Who knows maybe Alonso will fall out with Ferrari and go to Red Bull in 2014! Remember MS was dropped in 2006 to make way for Kimi, who had his doors blown off by Massa and wasn’t Helmut Marko gunning for MW just 12 months ago, probably still is !!
      Either way Marks a top guy and hopefully he can keep bearing FA this year and Seb too.

    2. Chris says:

      Can’t see Massa staying!! Unusual weekend, expect normal service resumed if Germany is dry!!!

  6. Neshaen says:

    This was expected! Webber to remain @ Red Bull.
    If Massa puts in some more good results, then nothing will change @ Ferrari for 2013. As for Lewis – McLaren is the only 2013 option right now! All the rumours about talks with Lotus, etc…. are just that – rumours! Dont see much changing in the driver market for 2013 with the exception of Di Resta, Hulkenberg, Sutil, Senna and Heiki!

  7. phil says:

    Well there goes all my comments in the other post about how Mark is going to Ferrari if he wins the WDC this year!

    But good on Mark, it’s the sensible choice. (still wouldn’t have love to see him in the Red)

  8. DJFM says:

    Webber & Vettel = Best driver line-up on the grid, imo.

    I wonder if Rosberg would consider a swap with Hamilton? I can’t see Schumacher ever going to McLaren, Rosberg and Button would make a nice team, as would Hamilton & Schumacher.

    1. Kay says:

      Sure Rosberg and Button would make one nice gentlemen team, but not good on point-scoring WCC front, let alone WDC.

    2. JF says:

      Agree: Overall best driver combo. Would like to see Webber get the WDC, make Redbull another double WDC team. Would still vote Alonso as the single best driver overall.

    3. NJ says:

      You’re all wrong.

      Obviously the greatest driver line-up possible now would be:

      RED BULL RACING
      1) M. Schumacher
      2) M. Webber

      Make it happen!

  9. Elie says:

    Good one Mark – it’s absolutely the right choice, better than going to the spaghetti factory just yet !!

  10. Phil says:

    fantastic! Being 2nd in the championship, ahead of Vettel, he deserves to stay. Good on ya Mark

  11. AndrewinWork says:

    So bang goes Lewis Hamiltons chances of getting a decent seat any time soon

    1. Bring Back Murray says:

      +1. Looks like his one WDC is all he’s going to be getting for a while, doesn’t it (which is extremely sad because I’m a massive Hamilton fan)

      I honestly thought he’d have a good go at everyone at Silverstone but he just slumped backwards again. (well weather conditions played a part I guess in terms of setups etc).

      Maybe we need a dry weekend at Spa to really see wherere McClaren and Lewis are at for the remainder of the season.

    2. snailtrail says:

      Lewis has a decent seat now – hes not going anywhere and very mush doubt he ever was/is.

      1. KRB says:

        In no season has LH had the out-and-out fastest car on the grid. 2007 was the closest, though it was nip ‘n’ tuck with the Ferrari that year, plus he also had a defending 2x DWC as teammate!

        What’s it worth having the 2nd-best car each year, good for 2-3 wins a year? Not much in my books, and not for a driver of LH’s calibre.

      2. Dave C says:

        So you’re saying Mclaren is not of Hamilton’s caliber?

      3. Nathan Jones says:

        Yep, that’s exactly what we’re saying, Dave C. What’s your point?

      4. KRB says:

        That’s what I’m saying. Driving for McLaren the last four years has been like joining Nott Forest for the 1980-81 season.

        McLaren just hasn’t been able to get on top of the new reg’s at all.

      5. Andrewinwork says:

        I doubt even you believe that

  12. Jon says:

    Guess now Mark has signed an extension with Red Bull, the silly season can now start. How long before Lewis announces he’s staying at McLaren, and Ferrari confirm Massa for 2013!

    1. B Grylls says:

      Alonso, Button, Schumacher, Vettel and Webber have confirmed seats for 2013. Hamilton will most likely stay in McLaren so the only questionmark among the three top teams is Massa. With an improving form, Ferrari might well extend for a year as there are really no other alternatives:
      -Kimi won’t move to Ferrari or team up with Alonso (dito for Hamilton)
      -Perez, Maldonado, Alguersuari, DiRiesta and Grosjean have all too short track records.
      -Kovalainen and Petrov lack the performance needed.
      Since Webber now closed this deal with RBR, Ferrari’s only sensible alternative is out and they may well stay cool until 2014.

      However, funny things happen when you start speculating about 2014. Vettel and Alonso may well pair up in Ferrari. Hamilton will most likely remain at McLaren or maybe move to RBR. Kimi and Romain may also be subject for RBR or McLaren. The list of speculation is endless :)

      BG

      1. Colin says:

        Schumacher has a contract till the end of this year, not 2013.

      2. Aussie Fan says:

        Yeah and Webbo apparantely hadn’t signed for Red Bull before the British GP either…..but it turns out he had…get my point?

        MS will still be at Merc in 2013

      3. AH Jordan says:

        Schumacher’s contract only last until the end of this season and I think a large number of people will be surprised if he stays on, certainly if he stays on for more than another year.

        Personally I would love to see him win at least once more…something I never thought I’d see myself type back during his first stint in F1…!!

      4. B Grylls says:

        According to James, Schumacher is confirmed for Mercedes for 2013…

      5. Andrewinwork says:

        I don’t get the whole Vettel Ferrari thing. Why would he leave a team with the best car, best engineers where he is the No.1 driver to be a No.2 to Alonso in a car that at best can hang on to the RB’s shirt tails

  13. Erik says:

    A smart move in the end. While he would have been good at Ferrari, at the end of the day he would have had to race against his friend in Alonso (potential for awkward moments/test the freindship), and lets face it, he would have just been keeping Vettel’s seat warm until everyone’s ready for him to go to Ferrari.

    This way Webber has commited to Red Bull, and Vettel everyone knows is gone sooner or later. This may lend him a few more ears in the team as far as those split decisions go in regards to which driver gets first parts, development direction, etc. Therefore he has a more equal chance at Red Bull so the smart move.

    At Ferrari he would have been his great friend Alonso’s no.2.

    1. Erik says:

      p.s. Eat your heart out Helmut!

    2. tara says:

      yep good call

  14. Brett Williams says:

    So where does this leave Massa, considering what seemed to be a return to form at Silverstone? James, it sounds like in your article that it’s a foregone conclusion Massa will be replaced next year – so who do you think will fill the vacant seat now Webber is no longer available?

    1. McLaren78 says:

      Heikki

      1. Kay says:

        You mean that Finn who’s just another Fisichella?

      2. veeru says:

        actually that’s not a bad idea. Heikki is driving brilliantly this year and he has a matured head and knows Alonso well.

        he has got ‘the experience’ that Ferrari wants from a driver and is really a cool bloke.

        he is a proven race winner and consistent points winner. so it wouldn’t be a bad decision.

        McLaren78 — Good job

      3. olivier says:

        … + he’s already wearing a red helmet ;)

      4. KRB says:

        He won one race only b/c Massa’s engine blew in the last two laps! The 2008 Italian GP really hurt his standing, starting 2nd behind Vettel in the STR, everyone expecting he’d have him for breakfast.

      5. AH Jordan says:

        And he’d probably take a 1 year contract to get back into a top team knowing that more seats will likely open up for 2014…

    2. Erik says:

      Go Kamui!!

  15. Dufus says:

    Congrats Mark, well deserved.
    Move to Ferrari in 2014.

  16. Troy Brisby says:

    Good to see Mark sign up for another year. They still have a strong car, possibly quickest. In my eyes if he had signed for Ferrari mid 2012 season he would have destroyed his chance of winning the 2012 WDC. I suspect RBR would have put all their support behind Vettel to ensure Webber didn’t leave the team with the No.1 for his 2013 Ferrari. With a 2013 contract in his pocket we should see an interesting, even title fight between the two RBR drivers

    1. Mike J says:

      Thats a good point and i agree that with Webber as high in the championship now and with Vettel having a agreement based on performance with Ferrari for 2014, maybe Webber will get a few extra ‘nods’ within the team. If Vettel goes in 2014, Webber would be their pick to stay on again next to the new Red Bull driver. Maybe this is a better decision by Webber than we think.

  17. Joseph C says:

    first!!!

    I’m happy for Mark but it would have been good to see him at Ferrari. Irrespective of which front running team Mark is with it doesn’t change the fact that he has no World championships under his belt. He really needs to win and i believe 2012 is the year. Come on son do it for Australia.

    1. Kay says:

      17th?

      Personally I’d rather see Webber do one WDC at RBR before moving anywhere else, tell that German kid that he can beat him with equal machinery.

      1. tara says:

        but will Horner get behind him? for some reason i’m sceptical…

    2. khala says:

      lol first. That backfired on you about as much as McLaren and the decision to let Button take the car in a new direction.
      Ends up 17th hahaha

      1. Joseph C says:

        Yeah i failed LOL

        When i sent the post the screen said i was first the website lag is HRT like. i feel like Narain obviously i was a lap down.

        I know this is totally off topic but i feel bad for the back markers aka HRT, Marussia and to a lesser extent lotus due to the fact that during their attempt to finish the race as quickly as they can they also have to constantly pull over to let faster cars pass.

        I feel like this process really hides the performance these drivers have. I mean you can always rate performance against your teamate but i still think being a back marker would be a tough challenge on the completed opposite end of the front runners.

  18. Dmitry says:

    Whew, one option closed for Lewis (I want him to stay in McLaren). Hope other’s will resolve itself soon also.

    As of Webber, I hope he beats Vettel, though I like neither of them and RBR as a whole.
    So good luck to him on this journey!

    1. Bring Back Murray says:

      What’s your beef with RBR Dmitry?

      1. Valois says:

        For myself I think RBR has a great chance to become the 2010-2020′s Ferrari. That speaks for itself.

  19. Zack says:

    Good decision by Mark.

    James – what are your predictions for where Hamilton, Massa and Schumacher will be next season?

    1. James Allen says:

      Hamilton and Schumacher will stay where they are and Massa, I’m not sure. I think he’s out, but it’s very fluid and depends on them being sure the replacement is better. It’s only for one year anyway

      1. Serrated_Edge says:

        Any more on the rumours Vettel has a pre contract with Ferrari for 2014?

        If so all the big moves will be next summer.

      2. Zack says:

        Only for one year – does that mean you think Vettel is off to Ferrari in 2014?

      3. James Allen says:

        Read what it says in the story

      4. veeru says:

        absolutely. it would be great to see vettel against Alonso.

        I think Alonso would have an upper hand. Alonso is very calculated — he knows who is better than him and who is not.

        currently there is one who is pretty close to his talent (BTW, talent has a lot of definitions in Formula 1) and he is not Vettel

      5. azac21 says:

        Surely the issue with Massa is not just if he has improved from the abysmal last year. If Ferrari has any ambitions to win the WCC they ll need to get the strongest driver lineup possible. Do you think Ferrari has given up on such ambitions just to avoid any tricky situations with who will partner Alonso?

      6. Mike J says:

        So ‘only for one year anyway’. So Vettel to Ferrari in 2014 is your view?

      7. Mike J says:

        ok, performance clause in a pre-agreement so it’s more definite than i thought

      8. Kay says:

        Ok wait…
        Performance clause of Ferrari on Massa or Alonso? LOL! There is a great difference!!

  20. Anil says:

    Massa is throwing a party for Webber! :-)

    1. azac21 says:

      I wonder what Vettel feels like. If MW wins the championship this year (he is with a good chance), next year we could have a hell of a competition in RBR, both on track and behind the scenes!

  21. Andrew Kirk says:

    Good news for Mark. Logical choice for both parties. James with his improved performance in the last few races do you think Massa will keep his job there now that Webber is out of the picture?

    1. James Allen says:

      It’s very fluid. Di Resta is a possibility, I’ve heard Kovalainen also.

      1. Mike J says:

        Heikki was very happy for Webber on Sunday, running over to congratulate him after the race before Webber had his helmet off. Was he also thanking him for leaving the Ferrari seat possibly open???

      2. KGBVD says:

        How great would the Angry Birds helmet look in a Ferrari??

      3. zombie says:

        Di Riesta is too young and too inexperienced for Ferrari IMHO, , Massa just had 2 years with Sauber, and 2 years testing Ferraris before he was offered a full-time job. Kovi on the other hand would be a great addition to the Scuderia, but considering he’ll be on Alonso’s plate for lunch, it would also mean an end of Kovi’s career when he gets out of Ferrari.

      4. KGBVD says:

        That didn’t happen when he left McLaren, and that was a thorough trouncing.

  22. Carl says:

    Good decision by Webber. Red Bull will get him more wins.

    So who goes to ferrari in 2013?

    anyone for Raikkonen?

    Carl

    1. hero_was_senna says:

      If Ferrari were looking at the lotus team for a driver, would they really choose a man who is ahead of his team mate on pints simply because of his greater experience it the rookie who is impressing more and more??
      After all, Ferraro got rid of Komi for a number of reasons.

      1. olivier says:

        I must say that I am well impressed by Kimi’s comeback. He adapted really well.

        We’ll have to thank Lotus for that. Their 2012 car is ace! I can see another Spa win for Kimi.

      2. Matt says:

        I think you meant points, but given his years over young Romain, I think he will be ahead on pints too!

      3. mayberth says:

        you are a joke Hero_senna~~ had lotus nvr fail kimi in term of strategy for example shanghai, bahrain and barcelona, he probably got more points than he is nw~~ i can see thse kind of excuse keep going on, yea he won a race due to experience, he won the title due to experience bla bla bla~~~ Fact is, Romain is no match with kimi on race pace, while outquali kimi that hv problem with his steering setup for mere tenth~~

  23. Thompson says:

    Not bad for a number 2 driver….

    Lets hope he stays well ahead of Seb or he may regret his choice. I for one cannot see CH telling Seb to hold position if things start to get close.

    1. Doug Adams says:

      Seb and Christian will invite him to go mountain biking if he lulls a lead out.

      1. DK says:

        Lol, that’s funny.

  24. McLaren78 says:

    Lewis had announced on Thusday that he had made his mind on which team he wants to drive for next year. I wonder which decision came first. Lewis’ or RBR’s to renew with Webber. In any case, if Lewis stays with Macca as it looks like, then Whitmarsh has to go!

    1. Bring Back Murray says:

      Bring Back Ron Dennis!

      1. Il Leone says:

        No, bringing back Ron would be the wrong move. But I do think Martin might need to go, but who would replace him? I personally do not rate Sam Michael, who seems to cause more problems than he solves.

      2. Kay says:

        +1 on that.
        No idea why MW / McLaren rates him so highly. S.Michael achieved absolutely NOTHING at Williams.

      3. Cliff says:

        Before calling for someone to be removed from his/her position you should have a replacement ready to fill the gap! Sam Michael appears to be being blamed for human error (pitstop errors) and a mechanical failure (Front Jack), none of which is under his control. Sam Michael’s role as I understand it is look after trackside operations which will include training the Pit Crews, a similar role to that of Dave Ryan. The design of the car is left to others. The team can practice Pitstops as much as they want, but it matters most during the race.

        As for McLaren’s recent on-track performance issues, they may have more to do with the loss of key personell in recent years. If I’m wrong James will correct me, but I remember reading an article some months ago telling us that Mclaren had lost a number of key staff from their Aero Department and other key areas of the business. Looking at the McLaren recently, I’d say that it is proving difficult to replace top Engineers.

      4. Nathan Jones says:

        Surely it’d be Jonathan Neale. Longer standing and more senior than the others.

      5. hero_was_senna says:

        Please do! Since 1998 to 2007, under his stewardship they won 1WCC and 2 WDC

      6. mayhemfunkster says:

        and was moderatley successful in the 80s too…!!

      7. Peter C says:

        I think ‘Bring back Gordon Murray’ might be an appropriate move.

        He’s about the only designer who would stand a chance of seeing McL ahead of Newey’s Red Bulls.

  25. Trent Thomas says:

    Both good and bad news… I would have liked to have seen him in red with Alonso.. but RBR still have the pace and he obviously prefers to be competitive in a known car/team…

  26. thejudge13 says:

    No brainer. Unlike other drivers he lives in England because he loves it and is settled. He can be at the factory daily if he wishes. Italy is a whole different ball game.

    Even though he’s been treated at times as “the number 2 driver” he has a very close relationship with key Red Bull technicians and engineers, something that would not be possible with Ferrari to the same extent.

    Nice to see a driver using the legendary back door dealing Ferrari to leverage his position with his own team.

    I also believe at the RB meeting this morning they were even discussing at which point the team would consider team orders/focus in Webber’s favour over Vettel this season – now that’s a turnaround!!!

    1. Kay says:

      Most of all,he is very close to Red Bull boss and does deals directly with him, rather than with Horner or Marko.

    2. KRB says:

      Re: the last paragraph, how would you be privy to those details?

      1. Peter C says:

        Insider’s view from Hong Kong!

  27. AlexD says:

    In this case, I think, Massa is the only option for Ferrari next year.

  28. Adrian Setterfield says:

    Congratulations to Mark on another extension to his year on year rolling contract! It is well deserved! Any constructor would want his point accumulating results. After all, its the constructors championship that pays the big dollars.

    I wonder if Ferrari were banking on him joining them for 2013. This surely throws a spanner in the works for them.

    James, any idea of how serious Ferrari were about Webber? Any idea of who else is on their radar?

    1. James Allen says:

      He was their No 1 choice for the seat.

      1. Phil says:

        Which would have put him in a good position to negotiate his package with Red Bull.

        Smart decision really all round. Better the known quantity that’s delivering.

        Is it me or does Christian Horner give the impression he’s not a big fan of Mark though? He always seems much more effusive when Seb wins.

      2. Glennb says:

        Christian gives the individual what he needs to hear. Seb is still very young and needs to be made a fuss of or, as is sometimes required, consoled with a cuddle. Mark is much more mature and doesn’t require the same level of fuss. If the team boss were to hug Mark after a failure he would probably get a Liverpool Kiss for his troubles. Ever notice how Seb goes off over the team radio when he wins? Ever notice the ‘finger’? Every win is like his first. The more mature guys just quietly thank the team and give the crowd a wave. Some sing ‘we are the champions’ but that’s another story ;)

  29. David says:

    Hi James,

    What is the latest update on Robert Kubica? I know Ferrari were keen on him and wanted him to test should he be able to?

    1. James Allen says:

      He recently had some more surgery and continues his recovery. I still doubt he’ll ever have the movement in his hand to drive an F1 car again

      1. F458 says:

        The longer Kubica keeps away the more remote the chances of him coming back are. Sad. He probably would have been at Ferrari this year.

  30. Michael Schumacher for Ferrari for a year before retirement?

    1. Dufus says:

      too Slow and old

      1. veeru says:

        yeah. but just for one year anyway right. we know he will bring in the points.

        so, why not? wouldn’t it be cool!!

      2. madmax says:

        If someone too slow and old gets pole at Monaco what does that make the other drivers??

      3. Dufus says:

        That was a flash in the pan.
        Remind me where he finished ?

      4. Lindsay says:

        Dufus: He started fifth, got clobbered before the first corner and eventually retired, none of which really reflects on his driving.

        What was your point?

    2. KGBVD says:

      Stop, you’ll get me all misty-eyed.

      1. Jay West says:

        Too late here (eyes all misty)…

        That would actually be a great scenario for Michael’s final year in F1. I don’t think it would be a bad situation for Ferrari either. Schumi would definitely pull in the points and would likely get along with Fernando.

    3. Bullish says:

      I could see that happening. Michael has a great relationship with Ferrari that continued after he retired and was going to race again when Massa was injured.

  31. Ade says:

    Good for him. A sensible re-signing with the team he knows best and with whom he may yet win this years championship.

  32. Buddy says:

    I saw this coming a mile away. Mark at Ferrari was merely a rumour started and perpetuated by Webber fans and his PR team. It undoubtedly raised Mark’s stock though. Great negotiation move.

    Congratulations to him! Once touted as being one of the unluckiest driver, I am pleasantly surprised to see his stats: 10 poles, 9 wins, 31 podiums. That puts him in No 33 of all F1 GP winners.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Formula_One_Grand_Prix_winners

    All wins with RBR and with RB car the fastest, I am sure he will go on and win more GPs. It was the only logical move.

    Jump ahead to 2014, with more winner’s trohpies under his belt, he will be a sought-after driver by many teams, even if RBR ditch him.

    So looking forward to seeing more of Mark in years to come! G’d Onya Mate! :)

    1. Mike J says:

      I think that it was much more than a rumour. Ferrari wanted him and saw him as a great fit in the team.

    2. Lindsay says:

      Hahaha, “perpetuated by Webber fans”.

    3. Alex W says:

      32 podiums.

  33. Geee says:

    Damn it! I really hope this doesn’t mean everyone holds station for next season… Again!(with some exceptions on the mid field pack of course)

    Next we’ll hear Massa is staying put too…

    Schumi to Ferrari anyone?! I can dream eh;)

    1. James Allen says:

      Schumacher is staying for another year at Mercedes

      1. Rich in Norway says:

        Really? Is this definite?

      2. AndrewM says:

        How can you be so sure James that Micheal is staying? will it be a 1 or a 2 year deal?

      3. James Allen says:

        Just what I heard

      4. AndrewM says:

        Thats cool will be good to see Schumacher in F1 for another season..

        Could they announce the deal at the German GP if its a done deal that is?

      5. madmax says:

        Thanks James, that’s great news for everyone involved with F1.

        Would have been insane for him to retire with his performances this year.

      6. Pete says:

        Schumacher to stay one more year is NOT definite

        Brawn and Haug certainly WANT him to stay

        but Brawn also said a few days ago that Michael would have to make a decision within SIX weeks

        +

        that Mercedes had no Plan B

        Schumacher then replied a few days later , that he would NOT be rushed, but would make a decision/announcement in OCTOBER

        which is weird; almost as if he would be willing to retire , IF he had won a race with Mercedes by then

        today, German media quote Schumacher as saying that Mercedes are VERY close to having a genuinely competitive car, that can win races and drive for the TITLE

        and that he feels the second (Mercedes) part of his career still needs the cherry on the cake

        which suggests, that it’s indeed unlikely he will retire at the end of the season, being so close

        meanwhile, Haug feels sorry for Schumacher, saying that if the Mercedes had not let him down, he would already be on something like 70 points

        anyway, it looks VERY likely Shoemaker will stay, but the comments about an October announcement only a few days back, indicate this is NOT definitive

      7. Elie says:

        Well that means Hamilton stays put then.!!
        & quite possible Massa.. Though Ferrari can bide their time and grab Heiki or Perez later on.

      8. Geee says:

        He’s staying for another season?!… You just made me very happy!

        Thank you James.

  34. horoldo says:

    Am a little dissapointed he didn’t take a ferrari drive. But more shots at the title still. Looking good for this year.

  35. AMSG says:

    why do I think this came from the head and not the heart, at this later stage of his career. Sometimes change is good for your soul…..

  36. Il Leone says:

    Good decision by Red Bull! Now I hope they let Mark have a fair crack at the WDC this season.

  37. gudien says:

    Don’t fix it if it’s not broken.

  38. Jase says:

    Great news – “Not bad for a No2″

  39. Pulkit Tripathi says:

    Hell James, I guess the scenario would be like…Ferrari didn’t want him….it takes more to deny Ferrari’s deal but if he refused Ferrari then he’s fool….very few get the chance of driving Ferrari….what he’s going to achieve in RedBull (No.2 status)

    1. Peter says:

      Moving to Ferrari would mean No.2 Status with Alonso without a doubt. If his going to be a Number 2, he may as well stay with RBR who will win in the Drivers Championship, that is the aim of all F1 drivers, to win the championship, not Drive for Ferrari as the aim.

      Plus I’m sure someone in Ferrari will be quick to deny having even talked to Webber.

      But re-signing with RBR is showing the team that his committed to them, and they will be working harder for him to win 2012′s title. Signing with Ferrari is telling the team to not care about him, and worry about Vettel more.

      Now he lives to keep fighting for 2012 with a real chance. And way things are going, RBR is the team to be in to WIN.

    2. thejudge13 says:

      Of all the current drivers, Webber stands out as one who ploughs his own furrow and says what he thinks (cf. Bahrain)

      He lives in England for a start and pays tax – unlike the rest.

      Nice to see someone double deal Ferrari for a change.

      1. Thompson says:

        The aussies see it different……

        and refer to him as tha tax dodger.

      2. Alex W says:

        No they dont, he moved to a country with more tax than Australia, for work.

    3. Valois says:

      I think he never really got to refuse a Ferrari proposal. He just accepted RBR’s proposal, what is very different. And I think he made the right move: not to move.

  40. james says:

    james, do you think there’s any chance at all that massa could stay on next year?

    or do you think, even if his upturn in form continues, he’s out on his ear in 2013?

    1. James Allen says:

      iIf he gets some podiums in the next month or two why not? It’s a very fluid situation.

      1. PeteM says:

        James explain fluid to me?

      2. James Allen says:

        Not fixed, moving about a lot

      3. zombie says:

        LOL @ James’ response ! !

      4. The Gunner says:

        Would’ve been even better if he’d said ‘wet’.

        :)

  41. Rodger says:

    Good!
    I hope this highlights to all the partisan Webber fans out there that he is treated quite fairly at Red Bull, and has always been.
    If he isn’t treated fairly then he must be a real idiot for continually re-signing with them.
    Now, please Mark, no whiny excuses and blaming of the team again when you lose races. Alright?

    1. Dufus says:

      Please, treated fairly ?
      Where have you been for the last two years ?

      1. Rodger says:

        Well then why does he keep re-signing with RB, dufus?

      2. Phil R says:

        because a number 2 red bull would be quicker than either ferrari?

        I think the cars are in pretty much equal spec most of the time, but emotionally the team still favours Vettel. Be pretty hard not to at times great though Mark is…

      3. James Allen says:

        Red Bull is the form team for the second half of this season, for sure

      4. Kay says:

        +1 on Dufus.

        Mark does his deals with Dietrich Mateschitz directly (and yes you can dig that up from various sources of the media), plus Adrian Newey rates him highly for feedback. There is nothing about fair treatment for Webber in the RBR camp, think back Silverstone 2010 as a prime example, then Turkey 2010, etc… I’m sure other readers here can list them all as well.

        At the moment RBR offers the best car package to win races / championships, that’s what Mark signed up for, he didn’t sign up for fairness.

      5. Rodger says:

        My point is that Mark has complained alot in the past when things don’t go his way…yet he keeps extending his contract at the team. Unless it’s for the money, and I’m sure that Mark isn’t like that, it’s because Red Bull give him the best opportunity to win. Which is why I get frustrated when he complains about the team…much like Lewis at McLaren who also, incidentally, continually extends his own contract.

      6. Quattro_T says:

        Look at my post below (nr 51) for my answer to your question.
        Add to that, RB has the fastest package currently and have had since 2010.

    2. Lezza says:

      Where where you in 2010?

  42. Aussie Rod says:

    Well that spoils all the fun doesn’t it…

    1. Valois says:

      If only at Codemaster’s F1 we could exchange driver seats! :-)

  43. Luke Smith says:

    Great news!! Happy to hear that he’s staying rather than going to Ferrari. I had a bad feeling that he’d be worse off at Ferrari.

    1. hero_was_senna says:

      He would have been, because unlike Vettel, alonso doesn’t have off days

  44. Norman Ch says:

    I hate to admit this, but staying with Red Bull is his best option. I can see ferrari telling Him “Fernando is faster than you”. But Red Bull can not do that as easily, especially since Webber “let” Red Bull and Vettel win two championships.

    Okay,okay, Vettel won the second one fair and square. I will ignore the failed KERS and launces for Mark in 2011. (“No” consipacy there)

  45. Haydn Lowe says:

    That blows my theory out of the water! I wonder then if that will mean that Massa will be staying at the Scuderia – I can’t think of a safer pair of hands who would be willing to do his job, especially as he is almost family at Maranello…

    1. veeru says:

      no he is not family at maranello.

      Schumacher was. Alonso is

      1. Haydn Lowe says:

        I’d beg to differ to be honest. Not just the length of time that he’s been there, but the fact that they have continued to support him following his accident leads me to believe that, were Massa to leave, it would be with reluctance on both sides, and even then only to a team (Sauber?) with Ferrari connections.

      2. veeru says:

        agreed.
        I still believe he is more of a close friend than family

  46. MISTER says:

    Good for Mark.
    Now who’s the alternative for Ferrari since Mark is off the market?
    Alguersuari? Perez? DiResta? Kovalainen? or keeping Massa?

    1. mattoz says:

      They could do a lot worse than Adrian Sutil.

      1. Dave Aston says:

        I agree, he’d be a great choice, but I reckon it’s 1000-1.

      2. Haydn Lowe says:

        I think his assault conviction means that he’s ruled himself out of a drive with any top team…

    2. tara says:

      Alguersuari – interesting. we know James rates him highly he can’t be the only one. plus he has insider knowledge on the tyres and it’s only for one year…

  47. MJ Sib says:

    I think this is great news for Mark but as a Ferrari fan I’m disappointed that he chose to stay at Red Bull.
    I’m now worried about who will partner Alonso next year. Massa clearly isn’t up to the job despite his good result at Silverstone however no one top driver would want a one year contract and have to make way for Vettel in 2014?

  48. Life is looking pretty rosy for Mark Webber at the moment. Not bad for a number 2 driver!

  49. Brendan says:

    That slams the door in Lewis’ face. His only option now is to jump to Mercedes or stay put.

    Amazing, that possibly the quickest driver in F1 has so few options.

    I’m pleased for Webber though. If McLaren can’t get their act together over the rest of the season, I’d certainly be pleased to see Mark win the title.

    1. Phil says:

      No seat available at Mercedes if what James says is true, and let’s face it he wrote the book on Schumi (two actually) ;-)

      Why would Hamilton jump from McLaren to Mercedes anyway? Money isn’t as important as having the machinery to win and for all their woes this year McLaren are doing better than Mercedes.

      1. Phil R says:

        Money would be more important than machinery to Simon Fuller…and yes he’d put being world champion first, but I can imagine him being persuaded that Merc could do it.

    2. Aussie Fan says:

      There is a BIG difference between ‘quickest’ & ‘complete’….

      1. KRB says:

        Hope you’re not suggesting Webber as a ‘complete’ driver. I like Webber, but he’s not at the same level as LH, FA, or SV. I’d like to see him win the DWC, though my head says he would flub up his chance along the way, a la Korea 2010. At any rate, it’s the RB8 that allows him a chance at the DWC.

        LH or FA in that RB8, and it’d be pretty clear to us all where the DWC was headed.

        Really, even when the RB8 was behind the MP4-27 (seems so long ago), it was only marginally slower on race pace. That is, the RB8 has never had a significant race-pace deficit in any race, unlike say the McLaren at Silverstone, Valencia, or Bahrain.

      2. Lezza says:

        Flub?

  50. Alonso fan says:

    Hamilton to Ferrari, both older and wiser and have a new joint on track eneamy in Vettal.

    Admit it, it would be awesome……..

    1. Bring Back Murray says:

      It would be awesome for Sky. They could get good money for pay per view on Hamilton and Alonso beating the cr*p out of each other!

  51. Quattro_T says:

    The only logical outcome for Webber. He had to decide what he values most – 1. winning a drivers title or 2. finishing off his career with Ferrari.
    Had he choosen signing for Ferrari this year, he probably knows the moment he inked the contract his title chances this year would die. RB would most certainly put all its emphasus on supporting Vettel 110% (even more than in previous years), and at the same time protect its design secrets, meaning:
    - Webber would no longer have any saying about direction of development. Maybe not even allowed to participate in important meetings/briefings
    - Webbers insight into new developments coming on the car (if they ever make it to his car) would be very limited.
    - Vettels car would be prio one testing and getting all new parts first.
    - the best engineers/track personell would be working on Vettels part of the garage, and when Webber is ahead of Vettel on track, mysterous problems may occurr at Webber pit stops.
    Webber would find himself in a similar situation as the one I think Alonso faced the second part of the season at Mclaren 2007. Alonso managed to take a decent amount of points inspite of that, but it was IMO more down to his ability, than him getting equal treatment by the team.
    The prospects of winning his title with Ferrari he knows are very tiny – Ferrari would first need to build a winning car and he would have to start off by beating Alonso in same car – more easily said than done.

  52. SP says:

    James (or anyone else), what do you foresee on Kimi’s future in F1? Do you see any of the top teams wanting him? Martin Whitmarsh sure seems to be fond of him, I recall him praising Kimis driving often. Christian Horner has mentioned him a few times to and I’m sure Newey remembers how fast Kimi was in his cars. Having said that, the Lotus is strong. If they perform at the top level consistently and iron out a few issues, he may sign on for longer.

    Either way, things seem to be going well for Kimi. Hes driving brilliantly and one of the few to have completed all racing laps this season.

    Still hoping for that win :) If its hot in Germany, he may have a chance. As for Hungary – if his steering issues are still lurking, it may hurt him. As its one of those circuits which require very precise steering.

    1. James Allen says:

      Lotus is capable of winning races, so why move?

      1. Harv says:

        I’ve read on a couple of different websites that Kimi’s attitude isn’t appreciated by everyone at Lotus – is that totally inaccurate? If it isn’t, wouldn’t they jump at the chance to get Hamilton, and dump Kimi?

      2. James Allen says:

        I’ve not heard that. The guys I speak to say he’s doing fine

      3. SP says:

        They’re nearly there… but will they reach that stage where they are consistently winning and performing at a high level. So far they seem to have been lacking in a few departments and the drivers may have missed an opportunity too.

        If they do eventually become front runners, I expect Kimi to stay. If they don’t, he may reconsider his options. Having said that, the ‘new’ Kimi seems wiser. So he may try working hard with the team to bring Renault to the front…. knowing well that it doesnt happen just like that. 2014 could be pivotal with the new engines too.

        I hear he was in Enstone today. Not sure why but I wonder if it was to iron out a few issues.

    2. the pimp's main prophet says:

      Isn’t Kimi a suitable option for Ferrari to replace Massa?
      Having Alonso there Ferrari wouldn’t expect from Kimi the leading role he dislikes so much…

      1. Kay says:

        LdM doesn’t like people only has a ‘heavy right foot’ lol…

      2. Elie says:

        Smart drivers don’t like Presidents with a big mouth..

      3. Jose Arellano says:

        +1

    3. McLaren78 says:

      2014 will be the silly season. Schuey will retire, Vettel might go to Ferrari, Lewis will have 3 options in Merc, Lotus and McLaren, who knows where Kimi might end up. Question is: Will McLaren allow Lewis sign a 1-year contract or even a 3-year contract with a clause after the first year?

      1. Hal says:

        I think if Vettel goes to Ferrari in 2014, Hamilton would have RBR as an option. I do so hope that Hamilton just renews McLaren contact for one year this time (or have some performance clause in his contract that allows him to move in 2014 if McLaren fail yet again).

  53. Peter says:

    Guessing everyone will just stay put for 2012 then. Ferrari’s understanding with Vettel will just mean they may as well keep Massa on for another year, and go from there. He is improving after all.

    But good work Mark, win the race then announce that you have re-signed for 2012. Team is also more likely to back you up for 2012 to win the title, and that is the aim.

    And I do hope that Vettel heads off to Ferrari in 2014, and by then Ricciardo will have 2 and half seasons in F1 and had shown enough to be promoted to RBR and team mates with Webber, and all Australian driver line up in and Austrian team! I like that! :D

    2014 will be a whole new ball game for all as well, Newey is the way I would desperately want on my team for 2014. hmm…. time will time.

    But all the drivers hoping to move around in 2013 all now have to stay put. Makes it a much easier negotiation process for all the other teams with drivers who still want to race in F1.

    1. Nigel says:

      I’d like to see nothing more than your scenario unfold, but in all honesty, Daniel just hasn’t impressed me much so far. I think he’s a good driver yet to show his full potential, but he lacks that ‘something’ that RB will be looking for down the track. I hope however time proves me wrong.

  54. irish con says:

    if massa continues his silverstone form he is a cert to remain at ferrari i think. teams need stable teams and alonso likes massa i think. he played a good team performance on sunday. 2nd and 4th is there best for a long long time. its also crazy to think fernando has had only 3 poles in 5 years.

  55. Rach says:

    Interesting news so basically status quo until vettel decides what he wants.

    I was convinced Hamilton was going to red bull but am so happy that Schumacher has confirmed for another year! Thanks James you have made my day!

  56. PeteM says:

    James Is their any possibility Ricciardo and Verne will have to play harder for their seats as it was expected one of those two may of slipped in to RBR if Mark had departed?

  57. Andrew says:

    The way RBR clearly treat him as a no. 2 (despite what they say) might have been cause for a more hot headed individual to jump. But like his driving, Marks seems to make more mature / rational decisions the majority of the time.

    Surely Marks only real remaining career goal is a drivers title, and he obviously thinks RBR are his best chance.

    Actually, when I first read this I thought he should have held out a bit longer, and perhaps milked the Ferrari rumours and the fact that he is beating his team mate this year to get a great deal. But probably Mark thinks he is in with his best title shot THIS year, and resigning early is a way to maximise the support he will get form for this year title. Possibly he was even given some assurances to seal the deal?

    Anyway, good for him, hope he got a great deal and can fight for the title this year.

    Still, I hope he got a good deal.

  58. Dufus says:

    James, where is Adrian going to be for the next few years ?
    No doubt this would have been a factor in Webbers decision.

    1. James Allen says:

      He was tied in for 3 years at the end of 2010

      1. Alex says:

        I read few months ago Frank Williams saying he regrets not selling part of the team to him back in the 90′s, do you know if Newey still has a desire to own a F1 team?

  59. Dave says:

    Good, sound decision by Mark.

    I think Ferrari could dump Massa and take on Kovalainen. He seems to have done a pretty decent job of helping to develop the Caterham over the last couple of season and has prior experience in a top flight car. Straight swap Kovy for Massa maybe?

    1. Kay says:

      Why is Kovo kept bring brought up? He’s somewhere between a Fisichella / Trulli. Just because he beats Trulli, doesn’t mean he’s an elite driver, or even anywhere near.

  60. Elie says:

    Agree..You reckon Lotus have started talks to their duo ?They might as well – its a great pairing isn’t it. ConsIstency is important for 2013 as essentially the cars will be the same.

  61. simon mawdsley says:

    Its an obvious choice because Webber knows a) he’s not getting any younger, b) overalls from the scuderia hanging on his bedroom wall aren’t quite as pretty as the WDC trophy. While Vettle had the measure of him lastyear, he didn’t in 2010, nor has he this year. Webber is very much in with a shout at the title. He wouldnt be at Ferrari

  62. the pimp's main prophet says:

    While Webber’s renewal with RBR is logical and understandable, I doubt that he made the most out of his options by not delaying the decision. Would he have done so, he still would have had both the RBR and Ferrari options but possibly as the reigning world champion.

    1. Glennb says:

      By making his decision *now* ensures the team will be behind him 100% for the remainder of this season. Mark is placed nicely in the WDC at the moment and probably sees this year as a fantastic opportunity to win the WDC. Mark did the right thing at the right time IMO.

      1. the pimp's main prophet says:

        In 2010 Webber led the championship as far as in Korea and he still didn’t have the team’s support…. That seems to depend much more on Vettel’s performance than on his own!
        Only time will tell. What is clear is that Webber will have a drive in 2013.

  63. Mark in Australia says:

    Would love to read more about Vettel’s complex understanding with Ferrari re 2014. Very interesting.

    1. Greg (Aus) says:

      Agreed, this is the first I’ve heard of it. I wonder if it will help Mark’s chances of fair backing for the WDC this year given he has shown his loyalty.

  64. jpinx says:

    Good news for Mark – and I hope he got the 2 year deal coz that will make 2014 interesting!

    Lewis would be well advised to consider Lotus – fastest car and quick to improve. The pay won’t be so much less than Macca’s cost-cutting deal,,,

    Lewis and Kimi together would be epic!

  65. snailtrail says:

    Would have liked to see Webber in red – BUT armed with the extra info James has provided why would Webber bother? – he would only be serving as a stop gap till 2014 for Vettel – so getting second class treatment again no matter how good he drove for them in 2013 would have been a rather silly move.

    1. HFEVO2 says:

      I agree with Snailtrail, only if Mark was determined to retire from F1 at the end of next season might he have been tempted to go to Ferrari for his last year in the sport.

      After all, even this McLaren / Williams follower appreciates that there is a mystique and a great deal of Qudos in being a Ferrari driver that is just not there at any other team.

      But is any driver faster than Massa really going to take the Ferrari seat just to keep it warm for Vettel for one season ?

      Without a guaranteed seat somewhere else for 2014, ( Sauber ? )I doubt it.

      2012 must be Mark’s best shot at the title and he needs to go for it. Vetel is not far behind but I hope Mark succeeds !

  66. Triangle says:

    I’m a bit surprised by this but you can hardly blame MW for re-signing with RBR.

    Bianchi to Ferrari now? Got to be, hasn’t it?

    1. James Allen says:

      There’s a possibility, even though he has nothing like enough experience

      1. Triangle says:

        True James, very true, but it might be a good opportunity to blood a youngster like Bianchi I suppose, seeing as Massa almost certainly won’t pick up many points anyway if he’s kept on…

      2. Valois says:

        a very remote possibility, if we know the Scuderia reasonably well.

      3. smellyden says:

        Surely that goes against the whole ethos of Ferrari, I remember you writing on here many times they prefer to bring in drivers with experience. Even Massa who was groomed by Ferrari had to have a stint at Sauber before getting to drive for the prancing horse!

    2. KGBVD says:

      Wouldn’t think so.

      Bianchi has been a big let down since being heralded as the next big red hope. And Ferrari doesn’t make a habit of parachuting drivers in from other series.

    3. Buddy says:

      Why would Bianchi be chosen over Perez? Bianchi has no F1 experience and didn’t do very well in the lower formulas.

      Luca DM said not long ago that Perez didn’t have enough experience.

      Massa will stay. I have inside info by the way.

      Talk of DiResta and Kova is clearly their respective PR machines upping their stock.

  67. Rob Newman says:

    Wise decision. I am not surprised. He is really motivated right now and is confident of the WDC this year.

    Too bad for Hamilton and his negotiations with McLaren. Looks like he will have no other option but to stay with McLaren. I don’t think Lotus is looking for a new driver and I am sure Schumi will sign at least a one year extension with Mercedes for 2013.

    This is good news for Massa. But not sure if keeping Massa will be the wise decision going forward for Ferrari. He lacks confidence and panics when things go wrong on the track and ends up pushing too hard.

    I have said this before and I think Ferrari need to consider Jaime Alguersuari. He is very talented, knows the strenghts of Red Bull, knows the Ferrari engine, and most importantly knows the Pirrellis very well hich is vital for any team. He can get on very well with Alonso and will be a good team player. All he needs is the right machinery which he didn’t have.

    1. FerrariFan says:

      I agree with you regarding Jamie. Plus, Jamie seems to be very confidant he will drive in F1 next year.

      1. James Allen says:

        Hopeful, rather than confident

  68. Bob says:

    Is Webber better now that the diffusers have been banned? I remember a story a while ago when they were introduced that said he never got on with them like Vettel could.

    1. Aussie Fan says:

      Diffusers are still there, the ban is on the exhaust blowing onto them in the ‘off throttle’ periods on track. Hence why the crs also have higher exhausts now than they did last year.

  69. Rich C says:

    A win-win situation for RB:

    Webber stays and Marko shuts up.

    1. Valois says:

      Is there anything someone can do so Marko shuts up indefinitely?

      1. James Allen says:

        Give Alguesuari or Buemi a championship winning car..

      2. Avinash says:

        +1 very funny

      3. Andrew Barker says:

        Buemi not good enough for me James

        Kind Regards

        Andrew

    2. Andrew says:

      Do we know if a Webber delt directly with the owner on this occasion as has been reported in the past?

  70. Craig Baker says:

    Funny, on Tuesday morning another website has reported that Dr Helmut Marko has revealed ‘Red Bull is planning to settle the matter of its 2013 driver line up “in August” ‘. Marko went on to say the matter will get his full attention in F1′s summer break. How embrassing?

    1. Mike from Colombia says:

      I still don’t understand Marko’s usefulness in the team, apart from being associated with someone important,

      He seems as useful as Pippa Middleton or David Furnish.

  71. ro says:

    Don’t know why Lewis doesn’t take a large breath, cross all his fingers and toes and leap towards Ferrari.

    McLaren aren’t likely to sort themselves out anytime soon – first they’ll have to admit to themselves that Sam might have been a mistake before moving onto to consider whether Martin is still the guy to lead them forwards. This may take some time…

    Fernando may have forgiven but he hasn’t forgotten, so Lewis will have to hold the dirty end of the stick for a while, but he can cope. Plus the recent Ferraris suit his driving style (throw it into the corner and sort it out as you go along) so the 2013 model may too.

    Staying at McLaren under Martin & Sam is a fools game. Ron was (allegedly) crazy but he made the team into winners. I hate to say it, but he needs to step ino the self-made hole McLaren are currenly digging.

  72. FerrariFan says:

    Bit late to see this thread. Sorry if I am repeating someone’s views. After reading this a few things came to my mind.

    Hamilton’s options have shrunk completely after this sudden announcement. His negotiation position at McLaren is also minimal. I guess he has to take a pay cut and stay. Plus, give up all the trophies to Ron Dennis.

    Webber might have got an equal treatment promise from RBR. On the contrary, RBR might have threatened him that they will favor Vettel this year if he moves to Ferrari. So Mark’s best chance of winning the WDC is to sign up with RBR for next year.

    Or the focus in RBR has shifted in Mark’s favor since they know for certain Vettel is leaving them.

    At Ferrari, I guess they will keep Massa for next season. If he continues improving there is no reason to find someone else to be number two.

    Finally, This is bad news for all the aspiring midfield drivers. The only opportunity is in Mercedes. But I guess they will keep the ever improving Schumi for another year as he is of great commercial value for brand Mercedes around the world.

  73. Luke Clements says:

    James,

    Not sure if it’s already answered, but would there be a clause in there that if MW wins WDC, he has the option to quit F1? Would RBR have a plan B for this possibility?

    Would have loved the controversy of a Ferrari drive, but can’t be unhappy for him!

    1. James Allen says:

      No, he’s enjoying his racing again and is competitive. Also the security of another season at circa €8 million is not to be sniffed at

      1. Luke Clements says:

        Thanks James…yep that sort of cash talks, mind you he might want a contract priced in A$ the way the € going lately :)

      2. Craig in SG says:

        Plus performance bonuses. I wonder what his bonus would be if he takes the title?

      3. Buddy says:

        I agree….

        Formula 1 is the pinnacle of motorsport. Countless young and old drivers desperately dream of getting a drive. It is the dream of every fan to have his son break into F1 so he can sit and watch the race in a pit garage – even if it is only the HRT garage. Well, maybe it’s just my fanatasy.

        If you have a winning car and you are still competitive – there is no reason on earth that should compel one to retire.

        Two exceptions – that I can recall given my tenure as a fan – both, I think, regret it:

        1. Michael Schumacher: God only knows why he didn’t go for the 100th win when he had the chance.

        2. David Coulthard: must be spewing that he retired just as Red Bull were finding their feet. Although, not sure if he was pushed by Dr Marko or he retired on his own accord.

        I hope Mark can make it to 20 race wins. It will make him one of the greats.

      4. KRB says:

        20?! He’s on 9! Anything’s possible, but I’d be very surprised if MW makes that number. How ’bout just leapfrogging the other Aussies (Jones 12, Brabham 14) in the all-time list?

  74. Avinash says:

    James, dont you think RBR signing Webber for 2013 settles rumours about both their drivers moving to Ferrari? Webber in 2013 and Sebastian in 2014…

    This is how I see it, if Seb is considering a move to Ferrari, then i dont think RBR would have held on to Mark, they might have shown interest in Hamilton and would have liked him to lead the team in 2014 if Seb did indeed make a move.

    Signing Webber seems to have closed a few options for RBR unless Hamilton too goes for a rolling year-on-year contract for 2013. But from what Horner has said in the last few days, it doesnt look like Seb will be leaving RBR in 2014 and so they dont seem to be looking for a long term team leader.In a way its not good news for both Ferrari and Hamilton…..

    It would be great to have your thoughts on this…

    1. James Allen says:

      Well Webber’s not going in 2013. As for Vettel, the question mark lingers
      Some Italian colleagues whose sources I trust are convinced that an understanding is in place, it just requires circumstances to come together to make it happen for 2014

      1. kfzmeister says:

        I’m trying to figure out why Ferrari would want Vettel there any time soon. Isn’t Alonso absolutely their winning ticket? And with Vettel another one that struggles with a super competitive teammate, why even consider inviting a potential problem into the team? You can’t be serious when you suggest that there really is a possibility for that happening. We already know that whenever a guy has some success, he’s immediately linked to a seat at Ferrari.

      2. Alex says:

        Like what?

      3. Avinash says:

        So lets say these circumstances do come together and Sebastian does make a move, then RBR will be left with not have a driver who’s committed long term with the team. This must make a few top guys at RBR anxious when Seb and Ferrari arrangement is talked about. Have you noticed any reactions of the sort?
        And also if Hamilton go for 1 year deal for 2013 then it might give us a few clues as to what RBR might plan for 2014

      4. Irish con says:

        There isn’t doubt seb will drive a Ferrari at some point. I just don’t see it happening in 2014. Why move to alonso’s team when he has his own team at Milton Keynes. Fernando is 6 years older than him. Plenty of time in future for seb.

  75. Holly says:

    It looks to me that the big teams will keep their drivers for 2013, yes Massa too, so Hamilton is stuck with Mclaren , and I doubt they will allow him to sign only for one year to go to other team in 2014.

    Hamilton is stuck with Mclaren for a long time or one year off in the midfield with the hopes to get a seat in the big teams for 2014.

    1. Craig in SG says:

      I’d like to see Lewis go to Williams next year, then RBR in 2014. If course, this would fall apart if Vettel did not go to Ferrari in 2014, unless McLaren did so poorly without him that they’d beg for him back.

      1. Buddy says:

        Yes, then we will have a Hamilton vs Maldonaldo Battle Royale!

    2. KRB says:

      I doubt Hamilton would do a one-year deal with McLaren … it’d be two years. First year b/c there are little options (besides Lotus), and the second to see how McLaren fare in the new turbo’s era. McLaren fared quite well in the last turbo era, let’s recall.

      If in 2014 McLaren still haven’t provided a consistently top car, then he can jump to another team for 2015.

  76. Kay says:

    James, Senna’s name not brought up anywhere. Just curious, how do various engineers, bosses etc rate him?

    Personally, I think he is pretty average, but I don’t blame him, he was kept away from racing for years!

    1. Andrew Barker says:

      I said this a few weeks ago very average i agree with you he can’t keep living on his surname forever

      Kind Regards

      Andrew

  77. Tornillo Amarillo says:

    Bravo Webber, go for the WDC this year! (and I am not a fan of you).

    Sad for Hamilton in the McLaren, Whithmarsh is not doing his job!

    IMO Massa is done, Ferrari will bring no matter who in 2013.

    Sad for Di Resta, at least he has a chance in Ferrari, his last name sounds italian… He should grab that chance in 2013, but he should beat Hulkenberg first.

    Sad for Button, because… just sad.

    1. HFEVO2 says:

      Martin Whitmarsh, like Stephano Domenicali at Ferrari is a really nice guy but both of them seem better suited to being a number 2 to a tough guy like Big Ron or Jean Todt.

      Are McLaren going to get there act in order wiithout Ron Dennis taking back overall control ? I would like to think so but I’m not sure it will happen.

      If we want to see another British WDC anytime soon be had better hope so !

    2. Denis 68 says:

      Tornillo

      Di Resta’s Italian backgroung would probably work against him in trying to get a Ferrari drive as Ferrari don’t support Italian drivers, plus his Mercedes connections.

      I know Massa has an Italian background but that’s a little different as South America is a huge market for Fiat.

  78. Nick Hipkin says:

    James,

    Do you see Hamilton potentially pushing for a 1 year extension now in light of this so he can possibly replace Vettel at Red Bull in 2014?

    1. James Allen says:

      Could be an option. He’d be what they would need!

  79. Steve V says:

    The rumoured Coca Cola deal could prove Key for Lewis staying. I can see they would view him as an important brand asset.

    1. James Allen says:

      How could McLaren do a deal with Coke, when GSK and Lucozade is such a large part of their portfolio? It makes no sense

      1. Michael says:

        Very good point!

      2. Andrew S says:

        Personally I cant see Coke matching up with Mclaren for the reasons James mentions (conflicts) and for me Coke just doesnt seem an F1 type brand. Coke is established in most (if not all) of the countries F1 race – the growth surely has to be the Arfican continent for coke?

      3. Alex W says:

        Coca Cola only want to sponsor Ferrari, because it is “the premier team”, and it is Red. But Coke would never ever be associated with smokes, and Marlboro sure as hell would not stand for someone branding the Ferrari, currently everyone subliminally knows it’s a Marlboro car. Plus Coke would have to pay more than Marlboro… that ain’t gonna happen.

  80. ian says:

    Any thoughts about Williams James? Surely Senna cannot continue – even if he brings more money?

  81. Les says:

    Hi James – fantastic piece as always! Sorry for going slightly OT, but I can’t help but wonder where all this leaves Sergio Perez. I was very interested to read that Webber was Ferrari’s first choice for next year, and about Vettel’s possible option to join up with Alonso for 2014 (neither of them look set to retire any time soon)… It seems like only yesterday Perez was being touted as a dead cert for a Ferrari seat in the near future – any idea what’s going on?

  82. David Ryan says:

    Sensible move from Mark – for all the emotional pull of the Scuderia and its impressive recovery from a dismal pre-season, it somewhat defies racing logic to switch from the fastest car to the one you overtook for the win last time out. There are also aspects of the current organisation – particularly strategy – which suggest it’s not a good bet in a championship campaign either, which realistically would be the only motivation for moving from Red Bull. As such, for me this is something of a no-brainer.

    Also, barring any extraordinary changes in circumstance I would predict the driver line-ups for McLaren, Ferrari, Lotus and Mercedes all stay the same.

  83. Methusalem says:

    Vettel has an option for 2013, so he might join Alonso at Ferrari, and Hamilton Webber at RB!

  84. Michael says:

    James slightly off topic but how have you rated Schumi this year?

    1. James Allen says:

      Pretty good, very unlucky

    2. KRB says:

      Very. Five retirements in this era of F1 is like DNF’ing two-thirds of the season back in Schumi’s heyday.

  85. Andrew S says:

    James
    Do you think the Seb – Ferrari pre-contract stuff has made Mark put his eggs in the Redbull (loyalty) camp or would he not want to play a clear second fiddle to Alonso at Ferrari OR is Mark just a no nonsense bloke that does his own thing and makes decisions based on what he wants and ignores the ‘noise’ outside?

    1. James Allen says:

      I think he knows they will have the fastest car! He really thinks he can win the title this year

  86. kp says:

    Poor Lewis. Middle order/back end racing or NASCAR.

    But I think I said this some months back.

    Let’s see …….. interesting times.

    1. Mike from Colombia says:

      You said it many times and never got the reaction you were hoping for. You won’t get it now either.

  87. Andy R says:

    100% can bet $10,000 that Hamilton is off to Ferrari in 2013 onwards. No doubts on that now.
    Clues:
    - He/his management team just misleading the press on keeping medals, sponsorship etc
    - His obvious closeness to Alonso and their new-found mutual friendship

    Wait for it!

  88. Matt W says:

    I can’t see any legitimacy in the Vettel to Ferrari rumours at this stage. The same rumour mill had Webber nailed on to join Ferrari up until yesterday.

    A few key issues are in play here. Ferrari are only going to sign another key player as a replacement for Alonso. Alonso doesn’t appear any nearer to retirement, and as a double world champion himself Vettel is not going to go to Ferrari without equal status. Ferrari aren’t going to go down that road and Alonso doesn’t share teams.

    It’s much more likely Ferrari will bring in a talent further down the field to be groomed as a replacement. All this talk of Massa getting the boot is massively premature given the last couple of races he has been back on form. Indeed if the press want to be consistent then it’s Button who should shortly be hearing the rumours about being replaced.

    1. MikeyB says:

      If Ferrari want to get the most out of Massa for their 2012 WCC campaign, the present uncertainty suits them fine. I doubt they’ll move to resolve the situation one way or the other until Alonso has either nailed the 2012 WDC or lost all chance of it. A dispirited Massa driving out his notice wouldn’t help their chances in either campaign.

  89. IP says:

    I for one am glad that Mark made a decision with his head and not his heart, unlike when he moved to Williams. As much as I would love to see him team up with Alonso, the time to do that was when Flavio was pleading with him to go to Renault. I believe he may already have a championship if he’d done that… either that or MS would have won one more.

    So clearly staying with RBR if they wanted him was the correct decision…

    James, what might this mean for Ricciardo and Verne? Does this mean the RBR management are please with how they are developing as drivers with a view to plonking them in a vacant seat in 2014 should a seat become (be made) available?

    1. James Allen says:

      They have another year to prove themselves

      1. Nigel says:

        And both have a fair bit of (im)proving to do

  90. Mitch says:

    Hi James,

    I suspect there are many good reasons that Red Bull re-signed Webber. But do you think that they would have considered that with him at Ferrari, even as a #2 driver, and a less grounded driver to replace him at Red Bull that Ferrari would have a much better chance of winning the constructors championship.

  91. Dan says:

    Hi James,

    Do you know what webber’s salary will be for 2013? Would it be close to Vettels.

    1. James Allen says:

      Probably between €8 and 10 including points bonuses. RBR do a bigger percentage bonus to retainer than other teams

  92. Bullish says:

    James,

    Any chance on getting a quote from Marko? Love to hear what he has to say as it is obvoius that he is not a Webber fan?

    1. James Allen says:

      His silence speaks! Actually he doesn’t have a replacement ready does he? Too early for JEV and Dan

  93. simon says:

    @ James Allen,

    Do you know if any Driver who has nominated himself for the Ferrari seat?

    Sutil???

  94. Luke DLP says:

    Congratulations to Mark – it’s definitely the right career move as it gives him some serious stability to have a real crack at claiming the title.
    In terms of Ferrari; Massa would be crazy to stay there given the long term animosity and constant doubt over his future at the scuderia. Especially when the field has closed so dramatically and Schumacher potentially finishing up at Mercedes this year. This would also give Ferrari an opportunity to make use of that army of test/reserve drivers they have in storage.. or take a punt on a one-year deal with Perez or even Heiki! Massa hasn’t delivered for some time now so what’ve they got to lose?!

  95. Craig in Manila says:

    Hi James,

    Am curious about Williams.
    Now that they’ve got Renault-power, they’ve basically got their package sorted and have been competitive but (currently) have no bigname driver. Would they be in a position to pursue someone like LH or are they confident that “Senna” and D’Oh can take them to the next level ?

    1. James Allen says:

      They couldn’t afford Ham.

      If Vettel is off to Ferrari, Ham has to be the logical replacement

      1. Zack says:

        I guess Red Bull could do some sort of pre-contract with Hamilton, similar to how Ferrari have done with Vettel.

        Will be interesting to see what deal Ham does with McLaren for next year, assuming he is staying there…

  96. Stephen in Oz says:

    Webber/Ricciardo for an all Aussie 2014 at Rbr :0)

    1. MikeyB says:

      We can dream, Mate!

    2. mattoz says:

      Yes please!

    3. Buddy says:

      There’ll be steam coming out of a certain Dr’s ears if that happens.

  97. bearforce1 says:

    Obviously. At ferrari he has to sign a contract acknowledging him being number 2 to Alonso. Was never going to happen.

  98. Adrian Newey Jnr says:

    Driver change stories sell newspapers and get hits on websites. In reality, the lead drivers (with the exception of Massa) see the benefit of consistency. Choping and changing teams doesn’t work in the modern era. Webber learnt this the hard way with Jaguar and Williams. Therefore when your support system is all set at a leading team like RBR, why change?

    James – did Flavio do the negotiating for Mark?

    1. James Allen says:

      Good question. Mark often speaks direct with Mateschitz

  99. simon says:

    Big LOL @ Helmut Marko … haha!

  100. VS says:

    James, do you think there will be any changes at the top at McLaren? How does Ron Dennis feel about Martin Whitmarsh’s reign over the last 2 years? Any chances he will be back as Team Principal? Although, I have read somewhere the decision is not only his, but that of the board which should be easier as Mercedes is out of the picture. Also, I am sure Mansour Ojeh has a thing or two to say about how McLaren are doing.

    1. James Allen says:

      Not imminent. who would replace MW?

      1. Buddy says:

        What about Ron himself? It’s been a while since the McLaren got a slap on the wrist….

  101. drama queen says:

    I just hope that now the deal is done there’s no more of the 2010 preferential treatment with Vettel.
    I think we could be in for some fireworks if Webber & Vettel win a couple more each.

    There was no pressure on Vettel last year so friction between Webber and Vettel did not exist.

    It will reappear, mark my words if both are competitive for the next few races.

    So stay tuned.

  102. Andrew Kirk says:

    Off topic James but what do you think of Caterum? Hired alot of staff, made abit of noise about moving forward and still they are not really mixing it with the midfield. I am aware that the midfield is super tight with teams like Sauber and Williams proving that they are both able to mix it with the big boys but I think it is very disapointing.

    1. James Allen says:

      Agreed, nothe promised step in 2012, but John Iley’s work is only now coming through. Let’s judge them in final quarter of the season for a true read on progress

  103. pear-shaped pete says:

    Obviously a budget-driven, penny-pinching move by RBR. Sure they will pay Webber a decent salary, but Helmut Marko says “Mark just needs four wheels”.

    pear-shaped pete

  104. Mark says:

    Great move by Mark, like someone mentioned earlier probably the best option if hes looking for more than 1 more year.

    For the other seats namely Massa, what about Kubica? Havent heard about him lately but is he any chance of coming back next year?

  105. Mikey moos says:

    Gotta love this site … Much more informed responses here than on other sites, and what can be said about the man JA himself? Brilliant! All of these real behind the scenes thoughts and comments from someone really in the know.. And he actually reads them all ! Quite unbelievable! So thanks James.. You make us all feel closer to our sport …

  106. Nick says:

    interesting that the MW deal was done now, rather than later in the season (typically in Sept at Monza). Makes me wonder whether RBR were keen to sign MW before ferrari got in first.

    1. Mikey moos says:

      My thoughts exactly

  107. Millatime says:

    Excellent choice for Webber for all the reasons already mentioned:
    1. Almost certainly RBR will have the quickest car for the rest of this season.
    2. If he had signed for Ferrari he would be a pariah at RBR for the remainder of the season & no chance of WDC this year.
    3. He has established working relationships at RBR
    4. Adrian Newey will be with RBR for 2013
    5. At Ferrari he would’ve been Alonso’s butler, with the potential further indignity of being booted into retirement by Vettel.

    His decision shows he is a fighter and wants to win, and is not content to just turn up until his retirement. Did we really think he would be happy spending his weekends poncing about in red overalls, learning Italian as he won’t be allowed to win a race, and going for pointless Sunday afternoon drives in a Fiat?

    Well done Mark, now go get your WDC

    1. NickPerth says:

      Brilliant, absolutely bloody brilliant mate!

  108. Hal says:

    Did you see article from Sir Frank Williams? Asked to pick any driver on the grid and he said he would choose Hamilton…

    If only they could afford him..

  109. Micheal Evans says:

    Is there a possibility of seeing Schumacher in a Ferrari for 2013? One year contract might suit him.

    Don’t think it’s much of a chance as it’s Alonso’s team now, but stranger things have happened.

    1. Mikey moos says:

      No chance

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