Red Bull has confirmed that Mark Webber has extended his contract and will stay with the team in 2011. The news comes hot on the heels of the Istanbul controversy and will go some way to calming things down.
Over the winter Webber had been rumoured to be contemplating retirement, and it was widely believed that Kimi Raikkonen had a deal in place to take over the seat, should he want to return to F1 in 2011. However Christian Horner recently denied that there was any such arrangement.
“It was an easy decision to remain with Red Bull Racing,” said Webber in a statement. “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. I continue to feel very comfortable here – I have a fantastic relationship with the whole team and the factory at Milton Keynes feels like home.
“It’s been incredible to be part of the team as it’s moved forward from a mid-field competitor to one that is challenging for the Championship. I hope we experience more success together in the future and achieve our ultimate goal of winning the World Championship.”
Horner said: “The decision to retain Mark was very straightforward. 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.”