Despite the recent traumas at Red Bull the team have today confirmed that their driver line-up will remain unchanged for the 2011 season, with world championship leader Mark Webber signing a one-year contract extension. The Aussie, who has driven for Red Bull since 2007, will remain alongside Sebastian Vettel, all but ending Kimi Raikonnen’s chances of returning to Formula One.
After a slow start to the season questions were being asked about Webber’s future, but two quite stunning drives in Spain and then Monaco have seen him shoot to the top of the drivers championship. A collision with Vettel last time out in Turkey seemed to show rising tensions in the Red Bull camp, but with this announcement it appears that all parties are happy to move forward together.
“It was an easy decision to remain with Red Bull Racing,” said Webber. “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.”
With Webber fighting for the title it makes sense to sort his future out now- he doesn’t need employment on his mind when he’s trying to become world champion. It also seems likely that all of the top teams will remain unchanged for next year, so leaving Red Bull may have meant abandoning any hopes of victories just to remain in the sport.
But after last weekend’s controversies, and the less than balanced view that came from some of the Red Bull hierarchy, questions will still be asked over whether Webber has made the right decision. Are the team 100% behind him, or is young Vettel the man they really want to win the title? Badger wants to know what YOU think about Webber’s new deal.
Further reading… Are Red Bull Losing Their Fizz?