AUGUST 27, 2011
New deal for birthday boy Webber
Mark Webber has signed an extension of his Red Bull contract that will see him partner Sebastian Vettel for a fourth consecutive year.
Early in the Spa weekend Webber conceded that an agreement with the constructors champions was 'very close' and the new deal was announced on Saturday morning ahead of third practice on the day of the Australian's 35th birthday. It ends speculation that Lewis Hamilton was still seeking a move to the team for 2012.
"I want to continue racing at the top in F1 so it's a no-brainer to remain at Red Bull Racing for another year," Webber said. "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 added: "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 are as high as they have ever been. The pairing of Mark 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."
So far this season, Vettel and Webber have a 100% finishing record for Red Bull, neither driver ever having left a 2011 grand prix with less than 10 points. They currently lie 1-2 in the drivers' championship with the team heading the constructors' championship by 103 points with eight races remaining.