F1: Webber Ends Ferrari Speculation, Signs With Red Bull For 2013

TMR Team | Jul 11, 2012
  • Webber signs with Red Bull for 2013
  • Hamilton 'ready' for Lotus amid McLaren crisis
  • Still no new Singapore GP deal
  • De Villota could return to Spain this week

Webber signs with Red Bull for 2013

Mark Webber has signed to stay with Red Bull in 2013.

"I'm high on confidence at the moment and firing on all cylinders," the Silverstone winner said.

Sebastian Vettel already has a contract with the reigning champions for next year.

Asked if it was an easy decision to stay with Red Bull, Australian Webber - who has been linked with a move to Ferrari - answered: "In the end, yes it was".

"It's been an interesting few months, but overall the continuity and desire for me to continue at Red Bull Racing was very strong.

"There were discussions with Ferrari, but my decision was to stay here."

Webber insists he is not worried Red Bull will ignore his bid for the 2012 world championship.

With two wins to his name now, the Australian is Fernando Alonso's closest challenger for the title, and a full 16 points ahead of Red Bull's reigning double-world champion Sebastian Vettel.

But in 2010, the 35-year-old sensed he was not racing on a level playing field, famously declaring his Silverstone win was "not bad for a number two driver" and earlier slamming his glass on the table after answering a question about driver equality.

Webber, however, insists things will be different in 2012.

"They (Red Bull) know that this year's championship is so open that we don't have the luxury of maybe just seeing how the season might unfold if you put the energy and the focus on one car," he is quoted by the Melbourne newspaper The Age.

Asked if he thinks he will enjoy equal number one status with Vettel, Webber added: "Yes, I believe that, for sure."

Team consultant Dr Helmut Marko told Sport Bild: "There will be no team orders; the drivers can race freely."

And boss Christian Horner added: "Having both drivers competing for the title is a good headache to have."

But it's uncharted waters for Vettel, as he pushes to restore his old status as the Red Bull favourite.

Bild newspaper said after the British grand prix that the 25-year-old German is current "nothing more than the number two".

Vettel insisted: "It's too early to start counting up points."

(GMM)

Hamilton 'ready' for Lotus amid McLaren crisis

Lewis Hamilton "is ready" to open talks with Lotus, according to a report in the British tabloid the Daily Mail.

But Enstone-based Lotus is just the latest name in the pot as uncertainty continues to surround the 2008 world champion's future at McLaren.

Hamilton's lucrative contract runs out this year, and while he is expected to ultimately sign a new deal, he is reportedly at loggerheads over the level of his pay and other details, such as the right to keep his trophies.

Hamilton has also expressed concerns about McLaren's faltering 2012 campaign, after seeing his championship deficit grow to 37 points after a poor weekend at Silverstone.

Asked if he is worried the Briton is close to jumping ship after McLaren's British GP struggle, team boss Martin Whitmarsh said: "No, I think he's smarter than that.

"He's got to want to stay in this team, which I believe he does," he added.

Whether Hamilton stays or goes, McLaren's normal post-race technical debriefing at Woking on Tuesday is being billed by the British media as a "crisis summit".

Teammate Jenson Button predicted it will be a "sombre" affair.

"I'm not desperate but I am worried," admitted Whitmarsh, when asked about McLaren's current situation.

And Button's next comment could be interpreted as a warning to Whitmarsh that McLaren needs to work hard to keep its drivers happy.

"I wonder what would happen if you put another driver in it?" said the 2009 world champion, referring to the ailing MP4-27.

"I bet they would get a real shock," he added.

(GMM)

Still no new Singapore GP deal

Singapore is yet to ink a contract to continue hosting F1 beyond 2012.

We reported earlier this year that, despite Bernie Ecclestone hand-picking the city-state as the location of the sport's public floatation, Singapore officials are no longer willing to pay "top dollar" for the race.

The reports said the government has been paying a sanctioning fee of about $40 million per year - "roughly twice" the amount paid by another Asian race, Malaysia.

Now, Channel NewsAsia is reporting that the government has told the street circuit's promoter Singapore GP that it will only extend the deal if a new contract is "economically viable".

"We hope to see a mutually agreeable outcome soon," said trade minister S Iswaran.

With a five-year contract, Singapore hosted its first GP - the first for F1 under floodlights - in 2008.

(GMM)

De Villota could return to Spain this week

Maria de Villota could leave Addenbrook's hospital in Cambridge (UK) and return to her native Spain by the end of the week, Germany's Auto Motor und Sport reports.

Marussia's 32-year-old female test driver has been in the hospital since losing her right eye after the horror accident at Duxford airfield early last week.

De Villota's sister Isabel said on Monday that Maria has moved out of the intensive care unit, after Marussia chief John Booth revealed she had emerged from an artificial coma to speak to her family.

Auto Motor und Sport reported: "Except for the blindness in her right eye, the chances are good that there is no (other) permanent damage."

De Villota has had two operations at Addenbrook's, and the German publication added: "If there are no further complications, de Villota could return to her native Spain late this week."

(GMM)

Filed under: Featured, f1, Racing, mark webber, webber, red bull f1, 2012, News, motorsport, enthusiast

Leave a comment:

Required
Required
Enter comment here.
  • Smart us says,
    2 years ago
    so sad - Mark had to sign... if he did not Red bull would sabotage his 2012 campaign... too bad he has his contract re-sign in the middle of the season... too bad Mark
    • BH says,
      2 years ago
      wanted him to go to Ferrari?
  • 5valvepercylinder
    5 valve per cylinder says,
    2 years ago
    Would be great to see Mark at Ferrari but I think he made the right decision, also I do think when the new engine regulations comes in place at 2014 every Renault-powered F1 car will be at an advantage. It's just a gut feeling but the V6-turbo engine has always been their forte.
Get the Latest

advertisement