Erstwhile F1 2010 World Championship leader Mark Webber has admitted that he is simply 'taking each year as it comes' regarding his future at the highest level, confessing that 'in two years, perhaps I will not be hungry enough anymore'.
Webber agreed an extension to his Red Bull Racing contract for 2011 – what will be his fifth straight season with the Milton Keynes-based squad – and there has been some speculation that the single-year nature of the deal is a sign of senior management favouring Sebastian Vettel as significantly the younger of the duo and a driver widely-regarded as a world-champion in-waiting.
Such rumours were only exacerbated in the wake of the pair's contentious Turkish Grand Prix coming-together as they duelled over the lead in Istanbul, with Red Bull team principal Christian Horner and the energy drinks-backed outfit's motorsport advisor Dr. Helmut Marko initially blaming the Australian – when the vast majority of observers held the German responsible. Webber, however, insists it was his desire only to prolong for one further campaign – for now, at least.
“I am taking each year as it comes,” the 33-year-old told German publication Auto Bild Motorsport
, reflecting that another team change at this juncture is 'highly unlikely'. “In two years, perhaps I will not be hungry enough anymore – but that doesn't mean I'll end my career in 2011.
“If you had asked me in 2005 if I would still be in F1 in 2011, I would have said 'no way!' People think I'm under pressure because I have to fight each year for a contract, but that's not right.”
The New South Wales native went on to muse that his stellar form this season – having proven to be a match for Vettel at pretty much every circuit thus far – has been aided by the alteration to the sport's qualifying format in 2010, explaining that 'in 2009 I was not a big fan of qualifying with full tanks, while this year I'm back in my element with the light cars in Q3'.