Mark Webber to stay with Red Bull in 2012

2012 F1 season

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Webber's new contract was announced on his 35th birthday

Red Bull has announced Mark Webber will remain with the team for 2012.

Webber, who has driven for the team since 2007, signed a one-year contract extension.

He said: “I want to continue racing at the top in Formula 1 so it’s a no-brainer to remain at Red Bull Racing for another year.

“My motivation to achieve the best results possible both for myself and the team is still very high.

“Over the past five years, we have worked hard and proved that we can design and build a competitive and championship-winning car, and I’m looking forward to putting the car and myself on the limit again each and every race weekend in 2012.”

Team principal Christian Horner said: “When we sat down and started talking about 2012, it was immediately obvious that Mark and the team wanted to continue our successful relationship.

“This meant agreeing an extension for 2012 was very straightforward. Mark knows the team well, having been with us since 2007, and his motivation, fitness and commitment is as high as it has ever been.

“The pairing of Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel is a very strong one, they push each other hard and we are extremely happy the pairing will remain unchanged for a fourth season.”

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Image © Red Bull/Getty images

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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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45 comments on “Mark Webber to stay with Red Bull in 2012”

  1. Yes, still gonna have two aussies next year hopefully :D

    1. Considering it’s Red Bull backing Daniel, I think its more than likely.

  2. Another 1 year extension. Fuel for next years silly season – hopefully more interesting than this years!

    1. 2013 I think will be a season of almighty change like 2010.

    2. I don’t think Webber will really be into the equation next year any more. But who knows.

  3. Yes, hopefully for (at least) one more crack at the championship. He could still win it this year though…

    1. He “could”… Just as Liuzzi “could” win a race.

      In fact, I’d sooner bet on Liuzzi winning a race.

      1. In fact, I’d sooner bet on Liuzzi winning a race.

        In fact, I’d be happy you were right ;)

  4. I think this is a mistake by Red Bull. Based on the results this year, Webber just doesn’t have what it takes to keep up with Vettel. He might be scoring solid points, but with Vettel dominating, the team could reasonably take someone else on and maybe inject a little more youth and experience into the mix.

    1. I don’t think there is another driver who is ready to drive for RBR yet. Webber is the right decision.

    2. and threaten Vettel’s superiority? Not on Marko’s watch!

      1. Who said anything about threatening Vettel’s position. All Red Bull need to do is find a young, fast driver who can out-score Webber without threatening Vettel – and based on his dominance this year, that’s not going to be a problem. It would give Red Bull a bit of a boost in the sense that it would change their image. As you point out, Helmut Marko is doing his best Joseph Stalin within the team, and it’s certainly not helped by Webber’s tendency to run to the media as soon as he thinks things aren’t working out the way he’d planned to (though he hasn’t really done it this year, given that he has had no answer to Vettel). Fresh blood can change that.

        1. So you would like someone to be higher then Webber in the points table but not threatening Vettel???

          1. I don’t think that’s too much to ask. Sure, Webber is in second place, but he’s eighty-five points behind Vettel. Red Bull could find a young, promising driver for 2012, and by this time next year, the gap could be twenty points.

          2. Ok, pick a young, fast, talented driver who won’t compete with Vettel who is willing to be a permanent number two…. Go on, do it. I don’t think such a driver is available.

          3. Ok, pick a young, fast, talented driver who won’t compete with Vettel who is willing to be a permanent number two…. Go on, do it. I don’t think such a driver is available.

            Who wouldn’t take the opportunity to race for a championship-winning team? Sure, they might have to play second fiddle to Vettel, but that’s not going to last forever. Plus, there will be the opportunity to win races, which they won’t get in a midfield team like Sauber or Force India. And if Vettel doesn’t have a particularly good season, they’ll have a box seat for a shot at the championship. Or do you think Helmut Marko will sabotage the team’s second car for the sake of making Vettel look better and passing up whatever hope they had of another championship?

          4. Sure PM, but that driver would first have to come to grips with F1 (something that nowadays seemst to take about 2 seasons).

            Red Bull are now in a position like Ferrari and McLaren, where they just can’t take the risk of having a rookie in the car (look what people said about Renault last year). They will take Ricciardo after at least a complete season at another team.

    3. The same could be said for Massa at Ferrari, even more so. I think Webber has been fantastic for Red Bull, he’s been the backbone for their development from Day 1, he’s been fast, he’s been honest, he’s going to help win the Constructors Championship this year, and I think he’s been rewarded for his loyalty.

      1. PM’s tune on Webber is the same year in and out, he can’t escape himself, he’ssentenced to living with himself in his matrix

    4. Based on this year’s results, I wouldn’t hesitate actually. He’s fast enough to help secure the WCC, and consistent enough to secure 2nd in the WDC; while not challenging your other driver for the WDC. Best of both worlds.

    5. I actually think Webber’s the perfect choice, there isn’t anyone else I would want if I were Horner.

      Trust PM to come up with an opinion that goes against the majority. At least it sparks debate!

    6. Vettel has youth and experience…in spades.
      He hasn’t shown that he is capable of keeping up with Vettel, but who, out of all the drivers that Red Bull could’ve realistically chosen, could keep up with Vettel?

      Really, the decision makes a lot of sense from Red Bulls perspective, which is why this news isn’t a shock for most people.

  5. The only real choice. Neither Toro Rosso driver is good enough for Red Bull and Ricciardo needs some blooding in. And it’ll be a cold day in hell before Helmut Marko lets a non Red Bull driver take the second seat.

    1. Why do people seem to think that Red Bull are limited to taking a Toro Rosso driver or RBYDP candidate? They have to take the best driver available for the team, wherever that driver comes from. Or do you honestly think they’ll pass on talent simply because the driver in question has not raced with Toro Rosso?

      1. Adrian Morse
        27th August 2011, 9:51

        Well, who do you have in mind, then? If signing Webber is a mistake, they should have a viable alternative. Since all the established drivers are not available, I guess that leaves you with untried drivers like Hulkenberg, Grosjean, Ricciardo, Vergne. Sure, I’d be curious to see how they get on in a top car, but I don’t see why RBR should rush into such a decision. Also, I don’t think Mark has done such a poor job; it’s just that Vettel has made it look so easy.

        1. If signing Webber is a mistake, they should have a viable alternative. Since all the established drivers are not available, I guess that leaves you with untried driver

          They could have made up their mind sooner and picked up Kobayashi, for one.

          1. Kobayashi is a great and entertaining driver but I don’t see him giving way to his teamate anytime, at least Mark makes an effort not to be involved in a crash with his teamate. Also keep in mind that no matter what the points say,on occasions Mark has outqualified and outraced Seb, you need a Hamilton or an Alonso to better that.

          2. Or Rosberg, or Button

  6. . . . which means it’s pretty well set at the top teams, isn’t it?
    Don’t think we will see many new drivers on the grid next year. The possible return of Kubica is the only real uncertainty.

  7. This is good news for Mark. He’s been fast all year, Seb’s just had a phenomenal run. I expect him to be back in a closer title fight for 2012.

  8. They probably thought they would do it on his Birthday as a ‘present’ to cheer him up after a torrid season being consistently outperformed by a solid Vettel.

  9. Very disappointng. If there’s any driver who doesn’t deserve a drive with a top team, it’s him.

    1. Actually there is one, his name is Felipe Massa.

    2. Or your favourite driver.

  10. Fantastic news! Let’s hope he got a pay rise aswell! If you look at points per dollar, I bet he is the best performer as he is probably the lowest paid driver from the top teams!

    Keith – can we do a points per dollar comparison? It would be very interesting!

  11. it’s Fantasy F1 (especially because Massa is driving next year), but i’d have loved an Alonso-Webber pairing in Ferrari next year.

    1. What’s the point of changing one 2nd driver with another, although Webber could bring more points than Massa…

      1. more points and more personality, i think. then a good pairing with Smedley on the pitwall, probably.

  12. Speaking of contracts, James Allen is reporting Rosberg to Ferrari for 2012 as a likely possibility. Anything you’ve heard Keith?

    1. Massa to Mercedes with Schumacher not bad but if Nico does go to Ferarri Alonso may have a rough time.

  13. Sign of things to come – ridiculous end of coverage on BBC. 1 min discussion of Hamilton-Maldonado incident, interview with Button, farewell. No interviews, was there a picture of pole-sitter coming to garage?

    1. Remember that Red Flag? The programme over ran by almost 10 minutes and the BBC had live rugby to show.

      1. Yep, already corrected myself in the right thread. =)

  14. Well done Mark, keeps us all guessing throughout 2012 ;)

  15. The’ve broken Webber’s spirit. Better keep him on than risk someone challenging Vettel again.

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