Webber signs with Red Bull for 2011

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Webber remains at Red Bull for 2011

Mark Webber will drive for Red Bull having extended his contract with the team for 2011.

He will continue to partner Sebastian Vettel, who already has a contract with the team for 2011, despite the pair differing over their collision in the Turkish Grand Prix last week.

Webber said:

It was an easy decision to remain with Red Bull Racing. We began talking very early this year and were in a position to sign by the Barcelona Grand Prix.

The decision to extend for a further year was a mutual one; it’s widely know that I’m not interested in hanging around in Formula One just for the sake of it and at this stage of my career, I’m happy to take one year at a time.
Mark Webber

Team principal Christian Horner said it was a “very straightforward” decision to keep Webber:

He is an important member of our team and is currently in the best form of his career, as the current leader of the drivers’ championship. The team is extremely happy that the driver pairing of Mark and Sebastian will remain unchanged for a third season in 2011.
Christian Horner

Webber has driven for Red Bull since 2007 and won four Grands Prix for the team.

Read more: F1 2011 Season

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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83 comments on “Webber signs with Red Bull for 2011”

  1. Only for 1 year?

    1. Prisoner Monkeys
      7th June 2010, 10:30

      Webber likes one-year deals. I think this is about his second or third. He’s getting to be one of the older drivers on the grid, and I don’t think he wants to commit too far into the future.

      1. I’ve strongly got the impression that if Red Bull becomes a midfield team again, Webber will leave the sport. … In fact, it’s not so much an impression because he said it.

        Personally, This lost him some respect from me, I’m a Rubens fan, partly because he will keep going no matter what.

        1. Well you have to look at them differently. Webbers a fantastically quick man but he’s a fairly atypical racing driver. Can’t say I blame him for not wanting to hang around like Fisi or Rubens after their ships have sailed.

          1. I disagree, fair play to mark if he quits at the end of 2011 – there’s no point carrying on if you don’t love the sport any more, and true drivers will not settle for being in the midfield – they only want to win. Rubens has/will come very close to having no-contract years which is extremely undignified. At least if mark quits it will free space for more passionate drivers, you get the idea rubens is just dragging along.

          2. *disagree with mike

        2. I can see how you may have lost some respect due to those comments and fair enough but i actually feel the opposite. I respect him for that decision. It would be easy for him to hang around with a lowly team if he can’t pick up a top drive for 2012 but that would mean the next breed might not get a go. He’s got goals; if he achieves them and then falls out of contention the following year i can see why he wouldn’t want to hang around. I think he wants to go out at the top of his game which I think is respectable. I’m not a massive fan of Rubens because of the fact that he will keep going no matter what. Anyway, each to their own.

          1. I agree with Glen, Rubens hanging around is quite sad i feel, he’s done his stint, the ships sailed. Make room for some new blood.

            I can respect a Mark more for wanting to leave on a high and not hanging around trying to reclaim past glories.

            Most stars/legends are remembered for leaving on high notes. (Not saying Mark qualifies as a legend tho!)

          2. Rubens is hanging on for too long, as did Fisi. The old timers should leave as soon as they pass their peak – opening opportunities for young drivers to build experience and break into the sport.

            Seriously though, what is the point of Rubens driving at Williams now? It is embarrassing to watch him get frustrated with the team/car at his age and with his experience. He should have left after last year.

          3. I’ll agree to disagree, but I think it’s great that drivers go on despite the general consensus that they should stop by default, regardless of achievements or current form, at 35+ years old. We’ve seen Webber on top form and Rubens, won two races last year – at that point in the season, arguably, he did not have the best car outright.

            The mixture of ages throughout the field is something I find adds to the spectacle. Some of the younger drivers were in nappies when Rubens and Schumy started and it’s fascinating to see them race together on track.

            I also feel once Rubens goes, it won’t be the same somehow. I think he’ll be missed on the paddock big time.

        3. It’s a great tactic. It keeps him on his toes becuase if he doesn’t perform he’s out. It also gives him some options if things don’t work out, who would ever have thought you’d hear rumours of Ferrari being interested in Mark?

          1. Exactly Rob, no cruising along until it gets to contract renewal year, if he has a bad year its over.

            And I admire that he said he isn’t going to just keep hanging around (like Rubens)… its a bit sad to see someone past their prime going around in a below-par team just for the paycheck :(

    2. Im disappointed Webber is staying with red bull, he deserves better treatment than what they have been dishing out lately

  2. Does the release timing have anything to do with trying to silence the #2 chatter?

    Just a cynic’s view.

    They’ve announced 1 year deals for Webber at the start of June for the last 3 years now, so I guess that’s the non-cynics…

    1. Funnily enough, that was my first thought as well.

      1. This nice picture from Webber on holiday/training in Colorado might show he thinks about team strategy:


  3. So, no place left for Kimi in any of the top team. will he return to Renault?

    1. Or Force India?

    2. Prisoner Monkeys
      7th June 2010, 10:35

      Raikkonen probably won’t come back. I don’t think he ever seriously considered it. I think the talk that he would be joining Red Bull was perpetuated by Raikkonen fans who wanted to see him back in the sport, and there was never really any substance to it.

      Part of me suspects that Raikkonen deliberately bid himself out of the 2010 driver market. His demands were just too great: full Ferrari salary, championship-worthy car and greatly-reduced PR hours for someone who hadn’t exactly impressed in 2009.

      I doubt he’ll come back with Renault, either. Renault are happy to build the team around Kubica, and I just can’t see Raikkonen being comfortable with that sort of arrangement.

      1. Kimi did impress in 2009. With Hamilton he had the most points in the latter half of the season. The Championship contenders could not match his (or Lewis’) performance even with clearly superior equipment.

        1. Not really.

          He had a good podium in Monaco, but that was it until Hungary, and his second place was more to Red Bull messing up Webber’s tyre choice. In Spa he avoided the pitfall most of the other front-runners did, but without the Toyotas and Kubica battling into Turn 1 and taking a more advantageous line by leaving the circuit Kimi would have not got second so easily. And without the safety car, he wouldn’t have won the race. In Monza he only got a podium because of Hamilton’s crash. In Valencia he did nothing but beat a few cars off the line with KERS and out-pace Kovalainen – not a hard thing to do. From then on he was pretty unimpressive, when it was clear he would not be at Ferrari for much longer.

          Of course, all drivers benefit from circumstance. Without KERS, Hamilton would not have won in Hungary. But half of Kimi’s achievements came through KERS alone; the difference with Hamilton is that he used KERS as a springboard to a great drive on the day.

          Kimi did well in the second half of 2009, but only for half of it, and not as well as his points haul suggested.

          1. The line outside of turn one at Spa is not beneficial. There were several other drivers who used the same line and lost position.

            Of course in this specific case it was beneficial since he avoided a collision between Trulli and Heifdeld.

          2. @Icthyes- For all the ifs and buts in the world, there are instances where Kimi lost points due to mechanical failures or other circumstances like his team stopping development, so everything will roughly balance out in the end. Hence why Kimi deserved 6th place in last years championship.

      2. Also, Kimi has still just recently indicated that is IS possible that he comes back to F1 for 2011.

        So he has still not shut the door to F1. It is a good question what is he thinking – there are not that many teams which could realistically give him a competitive seat for next season and I doubt any of his fans would want to see him in a mid-pack team, I know I don’t, and I am 99.9 % sure that’s not what Kimi is going to do.

      3. Also, I bet you have no idea what exactly was it that prevented his deal with McLaren to become reality last Autumn. Kimi himself said it wasn’t about money.

        1. Exactly If it was about money he would have settled for drive in F1 regardless of salary, because I imagine it would still be better than he’s getting in the WRC.

    3. Kimi will come back to F1?

      1. Prisoner Monkeys
        7th June 2010, 10:47

        I doubt it – the longer he stays out of the sport, the harder it will be to get back in. He’ll want to be in a top team; I can’t picture him wanting to drive in anything else. But McLaren and Red Bull are the teams to beat in 2010, and I doubt he’ll want to race alongside Schumacher or Alonso. Both of them (Kubica, too) would already have more influence over their teams thn Raikkonen would like.

    4. I was already working on something on the Raikkonen angle, actually. Will have it up later today.

      1. I think Kimi have signed a further two years contract with the rally team he is racing currently. I think he knew that there will be no place for him in F1 in 2011.

        1. Prisoner Monkeys
          7th June 2010, 10:48

          Uh, there haven’t been any reports of it …

          1. Kimi hasn’t had any problem with early contract ending.

            As for Mark, how often does the WC leader only gets a 1 year contract?

          2. Prisoner Monkeys
            7th June 2010, 11:12

            As for Mark, how often does the WC leader only gets a 1 year contract?

            It’s Webber’s third one-year deal. He likes one-year contracts because he’s not committed too far into the future. This isn’t an attempt by Red Bull to force him out of the sport.

        2. I don’t think he wants back to be honest. He is enjoying himself a LOT in WRC. He was already in 08 pretty disgusted with the politics and unfriendly atmosphere in F1. WRC is very friendly and he seems to smiled more this year in WRC even with all the bad results then he ever did in F1 even with the greatest results. Don’t see him back ever which I think is very sad I like him very much as a driver and person but I just don’t see it happen no matter what is offered at this point.

    5. No place for kimi :(. Red Bull has made a mistake keeping Webber… maybe Raikkonen said no and they had to sign Webber.

  4. Nathan Bradley
    7th June 2010, 10:30

    Okay, assuming as Stefano Domenicali says, that Ferrari will keep Felipe Massa for 2011.

    Add that to the fact that I can’t see Mercedes or McLaren changing drivers either, that should be the top four teams sorted for next year.

    Maybe that means we’ll be spared a ‘silly season’ this year but knowing the media we have here in Britain probably not lol. :)


    1. Prisoner Monkeys
      7th June 2010, 10:35

      I don’t think anything we see this year could top the 2009-10 silly season.

      1. It was fun though huh PM? I remember fighting a massive loosing battle on the forum, so sure was I that Button at McLaren was madness. Obviously Raikkonen would be back home with us.

        Forum was fantastic for the whole silly season, looks like the top teams are going to be fairly settled this year, the silly season will revolve around whose going to get Petrovs Renault seat, I see their being an argument involving him Glock and Sutil.

      2. Silly season been going on since testing seasons started. Webber to Ferrari, Webber out, Kubica to Ferrari, Massa out, HRT not to make it to race, HRT not make it to the end of the season, Senna out, Dela Rosa out and so on.
        At least we now know a few thing. Red Bull remains the same for next year (Congrats Mark glad to see you continue in RBR, contract for 1year make sense and shows you feel confident as a driver).
        Alonso isn’t going anywhere. Doubt Button and Lewis goes anywhere either. Rosberg looks secure, Sutil looks secure, Massa looks somewhat unstable but don’t see replacement for him unless they somehow pick up Lewis or Button out of their contracts. Hopefully Rubens will finally throw in the towel he slid very far and at this point I don’t see him reach the front again if anything he will be driving for one of the new teams if he will remain.

        Silly season will be fun.. LOL

    2. There were very few changes going into 2009, then a lot of changes for 2010. Stands to reason we might not see much change for next year.

      1. Nathan Bradley
        7th June 2010, 10:45

        My thoughts exactly, it might be nice to have a rest after last year!


      2. Ned Flanders
        7th June 2010, 11:34

        There were only 2 changes in the entire grid for the 2009 season. David Coulthard retired, so he was replaced at Red Bull by Vettel, and Vettel was replaced at Toro Rosso by Buemi.

        Most boring silly season ever! I hope this one is a bit more interesting

        1. Let’s see what happens with the smaller teams and, of course, the 13th team, whoever they turn out to be.

      3. I think it is fair to say that the 9 best drivers are in the 5 best teams (bar Petrov). Rare for that to happen in F1 and good for everybody.

    3. That won’t stop us from creating a silly season out of speculation. Let me begin: Bruno to Red Bull!

  5. After the events of last week I’m pleasantly surprised to see this news. Go Webber :)

  6. Sush Meerkat
    7th June 2010, 10:50

    Excellent news!

    Hopefully this will silence the demented honking on F1 forums about Kimi coming to RBR thanks to Webber “crashing into Vettel”.

    These fanboys really do get on my nerves, I remember when I started using F1 forums I thought it would be a nice experience with like minded adults, what I got in the greater internet was hateful bile thrown at each other which was reminiscent of being in a playground and arguing over Sega vs Nintendo.

    I honestly thought us F1 fans were better than that.

    Saying that, people on this site such as Ned, Steph, Itchyes and others are a delight to read. Also I should really pull my socks up in the comments as opposed to making rubbish jokes every single time.

    1. Let’s not get dragged into “Driver X fans are worse than Driver Y fans”. We’ll just end up with a tedious flame war.

      1. Prisoner Monkeys
        7th June 2010, 11:39

        I was just trying to make a point, Keith – rather, that the reports of Raikkonen going to Red Bull were grossly exaggerated by those with a vested interest in him. I can’t recall a single reiable news source (here, Autosport, James Allen, etc.) actually reporting it.

        1. Dietrich Mateschitz, Helmut Marko and Christian Horner of Red Bull ALL have hinted that there is a possibility for Kimi Räikkönen to race for Red Bull Racing in F1 in 2011.

          IT WAS NOT invented by Kimi fans! It were the Red Bull managers who ignited that thing and the Kimi fans were listening to them and obviously hoping what they had been hinting of would become a concrete deal. It did not, but it doesn’t mean there wasn’t any chance for it to happen. I am actually 100 % sure that the managers at Red Bull Racing used Kimi to apply some pressure on Mark Webber. Whether that was just bluffing or not, we can’t know.

          1. Prisoner Monkeys
            7th June 2010, 11:56

            IT WAS NOT invented by Kimi fans!

            I never said they invented it. I said they exaggerated it. While Red Bull’s Holy Trinity said there was a possibility of it, I’ve seen a lot of stuff on forums – anmely Autosport – where people hold up Red Bull’s increased sponsorship of the Citroen Junior Team as proof that Raikkonen wouldbe moving to Red Bull Racing. What they didn’t take into account was the fact that Mateschitz, However and Marko only said there was a possibility of it, but the fans took it as confirmation that it would happen.

        2. I don’t think being a fan is a ‘vested interest’ :)

      2. Sush Meerkat
        7th June 2010, 12:26

        Your right Keith, apologies.

    2. Magnificent Geoffrey (circa 2010)
      7th June 2010, 11:39

      You know what, I don’t think I rate Kimi as much as I used to anymore and I’m certainly no longer a die-hard like I was back then, for a short while. I think he underperformed at Ferrari after taking his championship and came across as a pretty rude chap sometimes. I miss the Kimi of 2002-2007 and I don’t miss the Kimi that left for WRC last year.

      Anyway, I reckon Mark and Seb payed a visit to Dr. Phil and worked through their relationship issues for good.

      Pleased for Mark. I hoped that this would not be his one and only chance to really fight for the world championship. Now that he can forget about next year and concentrate on trying to win that championship.

      1. Ned Flanders
        7th June 2010, 11:45

        Ahh no why has your Raikkonen fanboy immitation been deleted? I liked it

        1. Magnificently Magnificent Geoffrey
          7th June 2010, 11:48

          Well, the thing is that was what I was like, one. Long, long ago…

          1. Magnificent Geoffrey
            7th June 2010, 11:54

            Sorry, I thought I’d posted that in reply to Ned… I am apparently rubbish at posting tonight. I’ll stop before I mess anything else up.

          2. Ned Flanders
            7th June 2010, 12:08

            No it happened to me too, clearly there’s something up with the reply linking thingymijiggy. Let’s see if this one works…

          3. Sush Meerkat
            7th June 2010, 12:29

            Lets call it a team effort and say we are all rubbish.

        2. Ned Flanders
          7th June 2010, 11:48

          Ooops that comment was addressed to Magnificent Geoffrey…

          I bet Lewis Hamilton isn’t very happy with this news. Why was he the only person who seemed to think Webber was going to retire at the end of this season?! Mystic Meg he most certainly is not

      2. I never rated Kimi at all,end of!!.There again I never rated Mark Webber until this last “incident”,now he has climbed way up in my estimation to be my Number 2 of the drivers.The number 1 is reserved,as always for MS.Number 3 has to be Hamilton.

        I will not bore you with ratings for Teams,let us say RB is now last.

    3. Ned Flanders
      7th June 2010, 11:41

      Hey thanks Sush! I do have my favourites but I try not to let that cloud my judgement of them.

      Except Ferrari. I really hate that team.
      (just kidding)

  7. Webber must be satisfied with how the team have addressed the Istanbul crash. I just don’t see how you can take the abuse he’s taken from the team and then decide re-up for another year so soon after the event without being so.

    I wonder if Dietrich has told Helmut to STFU?

  8. Ned Flanders
    7th June 2010, 12:19

    I’ve just read this on Andrew Benson’sblog on the BBC. It’s very interesting stuff, and it makes me wonder how Webber and Red Bull can possibly work together:

    “The more that comes out about the Webber-Vettel collision, the more it appears that Red Bull were trying to engineer a win for the German.

    There is Horner’s order to Webber’s engineer (to tell him to let Vettel through)… Then there is adviser Helmut Marko’s insistence after the race that Webber was at fault, when the vast majority of observers pinned most of the blame on Vettel.

    It also transpires that in the post-race debrief – which Vettel did not attend because he had left the track – Horner, Marko and chief technical officer Adrian Newey “laid into” Webber and Pilbeam. And strong words were said in the other direction, too”

    1. Completely agree with you Ned. All of that makes it seem very hard for Webber to drive there yet he is. Maybe because it was still the heat of the moment, Webber’s a smart guy and the RBR is just so quick. Quite possibly it’s been blown over the top by the media too but I can’t believe they’ve swept it under thye carpet this quickly.

      1. It also proves the tensions a lot of people thought there were within RBR are a lot smaller. Like you said Steph, the guy’s got a brain, and I’d doubt he’d hang around in a place where he knows he’s a victim of favouritism.

        1. And Mark knows he has it over Seb mentally.

          If Mark wins the WDC this year the team doesn’t really have a choice about treating him as number 1 next year :)

  9. Ahh, good to hear. Mark’s at the top of his game, he’s driving well, he has a good car and the support of his team. Quite why there was any suggestion that he would want to jump ship and play second fiddle to Fernando next year is beyond me.

  10. I really like Webber, but I preferred too see Kimi on that seat!

  11. This may have just been announced, but when did he actually sign? Could it be that it was done before the ‘incident’?

    Can’t imagine Webber knowningly signing up as second to anyone.

  12. Unless Webber knows for a fact the Vettel is going to Mercedes, FAIL.

    1. Vettel has a deal for next year, and they are looking to extend it out to 2015. I can’t see him leaving the team, which will be great for fans because we get one more year of Mark v Seb

    2. If you are leading the championship in a solid car, why ink a deal now, this early in the silly seaoson? He could name is figure in a few months if things continue this way. If things go sour at McLaren, he could even be swapping seats with Hamilton for a commensurate salary.

  13. There are some rumours that Raikkonen has signed till the end of 2012 with Citroen. The origin of the rumour is some unkown f1 site though. Besides his contract could also contain a clause that allows him to leave if a top F1 team takes him in.

  14. Did you hear that Vettel said he passed Webber and “tried to come slowly to the right”.. slowly? He hadn’t properly taken over the guy… the interview is on the BBC F1 website

  15. I think Gerhard Berger got it exactly right the other day: If it had been Hamilton making the very same move and being the the very same place as Vettel, Webber doesn’t have to give way. But since it was his teammate, he should have made room for Vettel to break on the clean line.

    1. Actually he did break on the clean line! ;-) But only because Webber didn’t allow him to brake on the clean line.

  16. As for Kimi, I saw a picture of him in his Red Bull overalls today and he was . . . smiling! I almost didn’t recognize him! Seriously, besides on the podium after a few (but far from all) of his wins, how often did you see Kimi smiling? He HATES PR, and journalists interviews (sorry Keith), and lap after lap of the same thing over again. What he likes is driving really fast and big challenges. What could possibly be better than rallying? As long as didn’t embarrass himself (mission accomplished) and as long as he continues to improve (looks promising), there’s no way he’ll leave WRC for the psycho-hell of F1. I think he demanded so much money from F1 teams so that at least he could ponder the 10s of 1000s per minute he was earning while being forced to chat with some corporate nob at a PR event.

  17. Charles Carroll
    7th June 2010, 17:46

    As long as Mark and Sebastian continue to pursue victories without regard to personal safety or team placement, I am all for his return.

    At the end of the day, I just want to see drivers who are dead-set at winning, regardless of the cost.

    Hungry drivers = excitement for an entire race.

    Passive drivers = find the NASCAR race on another channel.

  18. Absolutely chuffed Webber’s staying with RBR for another year. I’ve expressed my thoughts about how older drivers shouldn’t feel the pressure to leave already on this article, but I will say this.

    I’d much rather have drivers that are competitive, in their 30s, showing progress and helping develop a team than the countless rookies that come loaded with money for one season, don’t perform and then are never seen again. Don’t get me wrong. I’ve got nothing against rookies – the future of f1 obviously depends on them, and a few seem to be in the sport on merit rather than money this year. Which is a good thing.

    1. Agree. Folks like Webber and Barrichello provide invaluable input to ANY team. That’s why they are still in the bussiness.

  19. Just to throw the cat amongst the pigeons, I wonder if they have given him a deal which clearly states he is the #2 driver?

  20. Australia has a very very fast young guy coming in behind him and he will need a seat in 2 years max and there is a quick young kiwi in the programme too. If RBR were commercially astute in an F1 team sense I reckon they should trade Vettel’s contract to Mercedes if Schumacher isn’t up to it and put the fee in the bank at the end of this year & lower costs by installing Daniel Ricciardo alongside Mark for a year. Mark is also developing that team management possibility and you have to remember just how unnatural his weight is and how he sees himself as an Aussie “world team” sportsman and the life issues in general.

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