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Webber confirmed for Red Bull in 2013
Red Bull Racing
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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325comments

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1

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.

2

No chance

3

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..

4

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

5

Brilliant, absolutely bloody brilliant mate!

6

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.

7

My thoughts exactly

8

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 …

9

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?

10
pear-shaped pete

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

11

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.

12

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

13

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.

14

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.

15

Not imminent. who would replace MW?

16

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

17

Big LOL @ Helmut Marko … haha!

18
Adrian Newey Jnr

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?

19

Good question. Mark often speaks direct with Mateschitz

20

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

21

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

22

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

23

Yes please!

24

We can dream, Mate!

25
Craig in Manila

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 ?

26

They couldn’t afford Ham.

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

27

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…

28

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?!

29

@ James Allen,

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

Sutil???

30

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?

31

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

32

Hi James,

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

33

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

34

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.

35

Of course.

36

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?

37

They have another year to prove themselves

38

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

39

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.

40

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.

41

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!

42

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

But I think I said this some months back.

Let’s see …….. interesting times.

43
Mike from Colombia

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

44

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?

45

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

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