Webber set to replace Massa at Ferrari

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    Why wouldn’t Ferrari want Webber, given the chance? Okay, so he’s not a long-term investment- that’s what Alonso is for- but he’s a solid driver who will reliably bring it plenty of points given a decent car. I actually think Webber would be perfect for Ferrari, but, as you say, what incentive is there for Mark?


    I agree, neither Ricciardo not Vergne are ready for Red Bull yet. I can’t discuss the lower formulas, but I don’t think Buemi, or Algusuari for that matter, are good enough. Like you say, Red Bull won’t get rid of Webber unless they find someone special, and Mark’s likely going to want to stay until that happens.

    Eventually though, Webber will retire and Red Bull will need another driver. Rosberg is very possible, or possibly Raikkonen as well. Both of these drivers will probably be looking around for a better car within the next couple of years, so I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see either of them at Red Bull at some point in the future.

    Prisoner Monkeys

    Why wouldn’t Ferrari want Webber, given the chance?

    Because the smarter move is to get a younger, talented driver in the car and get him acquainted with the team. That way, both he and the team are comfortable with one another when 2013 comes around, and when Ferrari have hopefully built a better car.

    Rosberg is very possible, or possibly Raikkonen as well.

    Raikkonen won’t go to Red Bull. He’s sewn up with Lotus for 2012 and 2013. By the time he becomes available, Red Bull will likely be focusing on one of their younger drivers. Vergne would be my bet.


    I think there is speculation about anyone who is considered to be ‘Mates with Alonso’ to take Massa’s seat!!


    @vettels I don’t think Ferrari will replace Massa mid-season, and I don’t think they should either. Massa is only a few tenths off Alonso and I would only see Webber being slightly faster; if at all, he certainly wouldn’t beat Alonso. For the future, I think Ferrari are likely to go with a younger driver with potential (i.e. Perez).


    Slight aside: I would be interested in seeing how Vettel copes without Webber. Not because I don’t think he can set up his car or whatever, but just to see how much input Webber actually has on the team/car as a whole.


    Webber to Ferrari for 2013, and Hamilton at Redbull? Haha that would be crazy, but potentially very interesting.


    I think that these rumors must be coming from Flavio’s incessant attempt to land Webber a well-paying post-Red Bull position. I don’t think Webber has too many options and Flavio is always trying keep his percentages in representation of highest value, so what I think this may be pointing to is that Webber may be going to Ferrari but not as a main driver. If they are thinking of using Webber as a temporary replacement for Massa, then Red Bull must have a plan and cut a deal with Ferrari so they can break contract mid-season and replace him with whoever it is they are anxious to be Vettel’s teammate.

    There was mention above how Raikonnen couldn’t change from Lotus, but that’s bullocks. Any contract can be broken if the pluses outweigh the minuses. Kimi has had no problems switching teams before and easily could blame the Lotus team’s numerous costly errors with tire strategies, setup errors, and other things that hurt Kimi’s races greatly.

    I actually was surprised that Kimi didn’t return to F1 with Redbull after establishing a deep relationship with them rallying for them. But after thinking about who Webber’s manager is, Flavio, then it makes sense because Webber’s contract is probably rock solid with serious penalties for early termination unless they can establish a way for him to make as much or probably more money elsewhere.

    All of this plus added to a few more facts:
    +Kimi and Vettel are close friends as well as neighbors in Switzerland.
    + RedBull have enough money to break and make contracts but rolling the dice with young driver is a risk as too if someone is good enough not only to just drive well but to fight for the Championship, especially since they have a B & C team already.
    + They probably would love nothing more then to have two racing buddies who will push each other and fight a close fight all season as well as work as a team to beat other teams.
    +Webber and Vettel never established this kind of a relationship and I am sure that Marko is ready to put an end to his in-house fighting. Webber has not only resisted being Vettel’s buddy but that incident with the not revealing his injury two years ago did not sit well with Marko.
    +Webber would love a drive with Ferrari no matter how short, for the honor of it, and the chance to prove his many critics how his talent was hampered by politics of a team who didn’t truly believe in him and back him. Ferrari would surely put in a clause stating that if he could consistently race close to or ahead of Alonso, then he would get an option for possible renewal.
    +Sergio Perez, a likely candidate for a future Ferrari seat, would not move mid-season because not only would it hurt their relationship with Sauber/Ferrari, but also there would be major financial issues with his lucrative sponsorship contracted with Slim. Also I think that they may not be completely convinced that Sergio is ready yet. He still is inconsistent, and if Ferrari want to fight for the constructors championship they need someone who can compete close to Alonso’s level, because their cars just aren’t dominant these past few years, and may not have won any races at all if it wasn’t for Alonso’s extraordinary skills. If Sergio came in mid-season and at a level similar to Massa, they would really lose face for ditching Massa mid-season and get a lot of bad press.

    I do sense both Vettel and Webber are much more relaxed and at ease this season, maybe because they know what is going to happen with the team.

    When I first began to write this comment, I was quite unsure and thought that other conclusions were just as possible, but as I thought deeply about all the angles on the many moving parts in this, it has become more and more clear to me that the following is actually highly likely.
    (Keith are you reading this? Are my arguments valid?)

    CONCLUSION: I have come to the conclusion that, yes, mid-season Webber will move as a temporary replacement for Massa at Ferrari, and Kimi will go to RedBull.
    …UNLESS: – Kimi, Webber, or even Massa at mid-season is clearly one of the leaders in the championship then this plan will become nothing more than rumors and we will have to wait until the end of the season to find out. But this season is so unpredictable who knows how many people will be within a few points of the lead.


    Webber has not only resisted being Vettel’s buddy…

    Has he? How do we know that or that it wasn’t the other way round?
    Pure speculation.

    I wonder if Raikkonen would enjoy being “buddy” Vettel’s #2?


    James Allen makes a few good points both for and against this move but I personally don’t think anything will come of it:


    Webber is close to Alonso and Stefano Domenicali;
    Webber is quick, reliable and gives good technical feedback.
    Ferrari usually resist the urge to put young inexperienced drivers in their cars, ruling out Perez until 2013 at best.
    Landing a Ferrari seat would add some extra credibility to his career (harsh, as I think his record speaks for itself).


    Ferrari are in a rut at the moment, so it makes little sense for Webber abandon a race winning care to move to the Scuderia.
    Webber’s input to RBR is very highly valued by both Adrian Newey and Dietrich Mateschitz who would be reluctant to let him go.



    @katederby – He didn’t mind being someone’s #2 in 2008, so that’s not out of the question.

    Prisoner Monkeys

    Webber to Ferrari for 2013, and Hamilton at Redbull? Haha that would be crazy, but potentially very interesting.

    Why would Hamilton go to Red Bull in the middle of the season? Sure, McLaren have their issues at the moment – but at least Hamilton is allowed to compete with his team-mate there.

    Some people seem to think that if Hamilton switches to Red Bull, he will magically win everything. It’s not going to happen.

    Prisoner Monkeys

    Webber shoots down Ferrari rumours:

    “Sergio (Perez) was flavour of the month last week for the Ferrari drive. Now, it’s me. I’m focusing 100 percent on this season and doing the best job for myself and Red Bull Racing. I’m not putting any energy into anything else. There’s a whole season ahead of us before we need to think about the future. One day the talk is about Jenson (Button joining Ferrari), then it’s Sergio, now it’s me. I haven’t signed anything. My focus is on this team. We’ve had a good start to the season, we’re only four races down and the road is very, very, very long before we start talking about the future.”


    I think Hamilton at RB 2013 is very likely. Mark my words.

    Prisoner Monkeys

    @magon4 – What makes you think that is so likely?


    It seemed to me last year in more than one interview that Christian Horner wants him.
    Reasons are more or less obvious from the company’s point of view. To use Vettel and Hamilton as duo in marketing is pretty perfect: two young WDCs, both considered to be the big future duo in the circuit. Very different, therefore appealing to different people, but unified in being talented, fast and marketable.
    They have the image fitting for Red Bull, so I would say Horner will persue him. And Hamilton won’t say know if he thinks the car is the best. Because HAM surely believes he is better than Vettel, so he’s not afraid in that arena.

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