Webber: Results Dictate My Future

One of the main men who could be on the market for 2013 has said that he is not certain to stay with his team for next season. Mark Webber says that he is not certain to stay with the Red Bull team beyond the conclusion of his contract which expires at the end of this year. He has had a strong campaign so far, starting a succession of fourth-placed finishes in the opening races, and a second career victory at the Monaco GP – becoming the first Australian to do so in Formula One. He is aware that there are a number of drivers chasing after his drive, something which he referenced when reflecting over his season so far. Whether he has a strong or weak season is the factor which, he says, will decide where he is next year:

“The situation depends on the results I get this year. They’ve been very inconsistent this year. Up to the Monaco GP I hadn’t even been on the podium, then I won. But qualifying has so far gone very well for me.

“As far as I’m concerned, I’m driving very well, and I see no difference with last year’s situation. Obviously there’s plenty of people who would like to come to Red Bull, but the question we have to ask ourselves is: does the team really want to change?”

Webber’s two Monaco GP wins are among the highlights of a strong career

However, since 2010, Webber’s contractual situation has always been one-year deals. A product of his age and willingness to give himself room to negotiate, he says that it is not for him to be the boss of whether he remains at Red Bull, but that  on his end of the bargain, he is doing as much as he can to ensure he can be kept on with the team:

“For sure that’s a question for Christian [Horner] and Adrian [Newey]. And for Dietrich [Mateschitz] and Helmut [Marko]. Let’s see what happens. I can only control what I do and so far I think I have done that very well.

“At the moment I don’t have a contract for next year, just like at this time last year and just like the year before that. My agreements are only valid from one season to the next one, and at each expiry we have never really gone on the market, in the sense that in the end we have always renewed with Red Bull.

“Let’s see how it ends up, but it can be the same again this year. That’s what I mean, we don’t need to go on the market because results speak for themselves.”

Webber is rumoured to replace Massa from next season

 Age is no determining factor in whether a driver can deliver at the highest level, with Michael Schumacher and Pedro De La Rosa competing well into their 40s. It is no secret that Ferrari have been unhappy with the performances of their Brazilian driver Felipe Massa, and Webber has been the driver most often linked with the Italians. Webber admits that he is one of many to be linked with the Scuderia, but that he has not had any contact:
There’s been nothing up to now,” he said. “I have no offers from Ferrari. I know people were talking a lot about that, at least until Felipe [Massa] had a good weekend in Monte Carlo. But if it was all true, then Ferrari would need to field eight cars next year! That’s not possible, as there are just two cars.
They may keep Felipe, or they may change, that’s the only true option. I suppose they do talk about that in the team, but they aren’t talking about that with me.”

The Aussie would be a strong presence in any team

The Australian is a veteran of the grid, into his eleventh season. He has had troubles in the past in accepting a number two role whilst at Red Bull, most notably at the 2010 British GP. Likeable and out-spoken, he is a committed racer who will always  give his highest level of performance. An asset to any team, the only strong factor against a possible recruitment of Webber at Ferrari would be that he may nott be too far from retirement. Much is left to be seen, mainly whether Felipe Massa will even be replaced for 2013. The 2008 championship runner-up put in a strong display at the Monaco GP and similar results could save his seat. Mark Webber is just one of many who could pick up the red baton should the Italians need a replacement.
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