Red Bull have today announced that Mark Webber‘s contract has been extended to run until the end of next season.
The Australian, who won the British Grand Prix for the second time on Sunday, will now partner Sebastian Vettel at the team for a fifth successive year.
“I've been with Red Bull Racing since 2007 and have achieved nine grand prix wins during that time,” said Webber, explaining his reasons for continuing with the team.
“I'm high on confidence at the moment and firing on all cylinders. I know the Team well and I'm very comfortable here; we have grown together over the years and it feels like absolutely the right thing to stay with Red Bull for another season. The Team is constantly working hard to improve in all areas and we've shown that together we can win races.
“It's great to be able to make this announcement off the back of the win in Silverstone at the weekend and I'm looking forward to competing on the edge and pushing myself in every race again next season.”
Webber revealed that he had been in talks with Ferrari for next season, but said that, in the end, signing for Red Bull was an easy choice.
“It's been an interesting few months, but overall the continuity and desire for me to continue at Red Bull Racing was very strong,” he explained. “My main focus is on this year's Championship, which is very important. In addition it's an amazing bunch of guys and girls at Red Bull Racing and I really, really like working with them. That has a huge effect on me and how I perform in the car and it helped me in my decision.”
“I virtually know everyone's shoe size!” he added, emphasising how well he fits in with the Red Bull family. “I know everyone's names, I know how everyone ticks and I know all the departments which is very, very important for a driver.”
Webber’s relationship with Vettel over the years has had, its fair to say, its ups and downs. However, the 35-year-old was keen, today, to emphasise the good parts.
“Obviously with Seb, we've worked very, very close together for a long period of time now,” he pointed out. “I think no-one would really have envisaged how long we have worked together, so that's probably been a bit of a surprise.
“There are not many team-mates staying together for that long in Formula One, but it's proved to be a successful partnership with both of us working very hard with the key technical members of the team. It's been a potent operation. We're still competitive when we hit the track, no question about it, especially in 2010 and this year. Last year there wasn't much racing between Sebastian and I, but in 2009, 2010 and this year, there have been some great battles.
“That's been enjoyable for the team, sometimes stressful too as it's not easy for both of us to be at the front and I can understand that, as both of us are thinking about ourselves sometimes, but ultimately we know that we need to get the cars home and get the best results for us and the team.”
Webber has, once again, only signed a one-year contract, which will inevitably lead to questions about his future reigniting this time next season.
“I've been asked [whether next year will be my last in F1] for the past four years and my answer remains the same,” he said. “It's a results-based sport at the front of the grid so the future lies in my own hands. It's down to me to deliver the on-track results.”
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner explained why Webber had been offered another new contract by the team.
“Mark has driven very well in the first nine races of this season and his performance has been impressive,” he said. “Much of his Formula One success has been during his time with Red Bull Racing and together we have achieved 10 poles, nine wins and 31 podiums. As there was a strong desire from both sides to continue the partnership, it was a logical decision to extend our relationship and it is with great pleasure that we confirm Mark will drive for us in 2013.”