Mark Webber has expressed his confidence that the second seat at F1 pace-setters Red Bull Racing is his for the taking in 2012, that the ball is in his court and that he is 'very, very close to getting some phenomenal results again'.
Webber's future in the sport has been the topic of intense speculation in recent weeks and months, with McLaren-Mercedes rival Lewis Hamilton opining as far back as the beginning of last season that he 'wouldn't be surprised' if the Australian was preparing to hang up his helmet – and now the very same driver has been linked with stealing his Red Bull cockpit away from him.
Despite Hamilton's not-so-secret meeting with RBR team principal Christian Horner in Montreal last month, however, both parties have sought to dismiss notions that the 2008 F1 World Champion could be Milton Keynes-bound – and Webber insists that with regard to his future inside the team, the call is entirely his.
“Clearly it is down to me in terms of whether I decide to keep racing,” the 34-year-old told The Daily Telegraph
. “Red Bull have been great and they are very keen to keep me, no question about it. We are talking, but there is no real urgency from either side. I think they are in good shape whatever the decision is, because it is mine.”
Webber is currently third in the F1 2011 drivers' standings, albeit a full 77 points adrift of runaway team-mate Sebastian Vettel, who has utterly dominated proceedings thus far this season. That is another factor that has prompted the rumour-mongers to muse that unless his form picks up, the six-time grand prix-winner may walk away from the grid come season's end – but he cautions that talk of his impending retirement is somewhat premature.
“I am still enjoying my driving,” Webber stresses. “Some of the days aren't that great with the travel and bits-and-bobs, but at the moment I still feel very good. Timing is crucial in anything in life. At the moment I am still getting some great results and I'm very, very close to getting some phenomenal results again. That is the thing I have to make up my mind on.”