10 July 2012
Webber extends Red Bull deal into 2013
Mark Webber has inked the deal which will ensure that he remains on the F1 grid next season.
With the headlines bouncing back and forth the day after his British Grand Prix victory, it could have been expected that Mark Webber's future might not be secured for some time, but the Australian hasn't hung about before inking his next contract
Even before his Silverstone triumph, Webber was making all the right noises about remaining with Red Bull Racing for 2013, with the team echoing the suggestion that re-upping might not be the worst idea it had ever had, particularly since the two drivers currently being groomed for its line-up - Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne - are struggling to make their mark at Scuderia Toro Rosso.
Although Lewis Hamilton could have been a potential target for RBR should he decide to leave McLaren, and Webber for Ferrari should he have been pushed out of the seat alongside Sebastian Vettel, the Milton Keynes operation decided that another year of stability was in its best interests, announcing that it had signed a further extension to Webber's contract, taking the Australian into a seventh season in the iconic blue, red and yellow colours.
“Mark has driven very well in the first nine races of this season and his performance has been impressive," team boss Christian Horner conceded, "Much of his F1 success has been during his time with Red Bull Racing and, together, we have achieved ten 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.”
Webber has bounced back to form in 2012, showing traces of his title-challenging potential from two seasons ago and banishing memories of last year, where he was comprehensively out-gunned by Vettel. Silverstone provided his second win of the year, twice the tally of his team-mate, and made him the only driver other than points leader Fernando Alonso to win more than once in 2012. His British GP success also cut Alonso's cushion to 13 points with the first half of a mostly unpredictable season coming to a close at Hockenheim in two weeks' time.
“I'm high on confidence at the moment and firing on all cylinders," the Australian confirmed, "I've been with Red Bull Racing since 2007 and have achieved nine grand prix wins during that time, 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.”
With Vettel already contracted to Red Bull Racing for the foreseeable future - ongoing rumours of links with Ferrari notwithstanding - the team' line-up will remain unchanged in 2013.
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