When you're topping the championship standings, you usually don't have to worry about finding a ride for next season. Mark Webber and Red Bull Racing are a bit of a special case, though. For one thing, at 34 years old, Webber isn't the youngest driver on the grid. (That distinction belongs to his team-mate Sebastian Vettel.) For another, Red Bull's one of the most secretive teams on the grid. And Webber's in the middle of some controversy regarding a crash during last week's Turkish Grand Prix.
For these and many more reasons, much speculation has revolved around Webber's ride for next year, but that speculation can now be put to rest as Red Bull has confirmed the extension of his contract for another season. With Vettel already contracted for a couple more years to come, the announcement effectively confirms the team's line-up for 2011 with the same two drivers it's been running since David Coulthard retired at the end of 2008. It also places Red Bull alongside Ferrari, McLaren and Lotus as the only teams to secure its line-up for the season to come. Follow the jump for the official announcement.
[Source: Red Bull]
Webber Signs With Red Bull For 2011
Red Bull Racing is pleased to announce that Mark Webber's contract has been extended, meaning the Australian will continue to drive for the team in 2011. As Sebastian Vettel is already contracted to the team for next year, this announcement confirms Red Bull Racing's 2011 driver line-up.
Mark Webber said: "It was an easy decision to remain with Red Bull Racing. 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."
Our team principal Christian Horner added: "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."