On the day that David Coulthard has announced his retirement from Formula 1 racing, Red Bull Racing have confirmed that his team-mate Mark Webber has signed a contract to stay on with them in 2009.

Although the announcement is not likely to cause too many ripples of surprise through the F1 paddock, it still marks one of the first confirmed signings for next season.

Joining from Williams in 2007, Webber's first season with Red Bull was fraught with reliability issues, but the Australian's form this season has been one of the year's revelations. Currently, he has scored points in six of the first eight races.

So, as expected, Webber has put pen to paper for a year's extension to his contract, a deal he was delighted to be confirming.

"I'm very happy to have signed up for another year with Red Bull Racing so early in the season. As far back as the middle of last year, it was very clear to me that I enjoyed working with the team, playing my part in its development and helping it move forward.

"So far this year, our reliability has improved and that's allowed us to exploit our performance. The progress the team has made in the last ten months has been excellent and I am looking forward to carrying that momentum through to the end of the season."

Webber, who has raced with Minardi, Jaguar, Williams and Red Bull over a period of eight season, is now looking to 2009 as an opportunity to push the Austrian outfit further up the grid.

"Continuing with Red Bull Racing for 2009 was a very easy decision for me to make, as I enjoy being part of this team and that has shown through in my driving.

"It's very difficult to predict how any team will perform in twelve months time, but we have some clever people here, with a stable team and I believe 2009 will see us in even better shape for next year, when the technical regulations go through a major change."

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner was also thrilled to be holding onto Webber for another year, particularly as his form this season has helped haul the team up to fourth in the Constructors' Championship.

"Earlier in the season both parties expressed a desire to continue working together and so it was a very quick and short discussion that led to an extension of our agreement. Mark has driven fantastically well this year. He has really demonstrated that he is a world class driver and this year the team has been able to give him the tools to endorse that fact.

"While all our efforts are currently concentrated on maintaining our fourth place in the Constructors' Championship, the next challenge facing us is to make the big step and challenge the top three teams and we believe Mark is absolutely the right guy to have in the car to help us achieve that."

With Coulthard retiring at the end of the season, no word has been made on who will be joining Webber in the Red Bull team, although Toro Rosso standout Sebastian Vettel is likely to be the favourite.