The announcement puts to rest all manner of rumors of Webber's replacement, including the potential return of Kimi Raikkonen, who's already sponsored by the same energy drink company in his rally pursuits.
From Webber's perspective, it can't be fun playing second fiddle to his junior wingman Sebastian Vettel, but the bottom line is that – having previously driven for Minardi, Jaguar and Williams – he never did as well as he's done these past few seasons at Red Bull, advancing from "also ran" status to fourth place in the 2009 world championship, third in last year's and the second place at which he currently stands this season. Official announcement in the press release after the jump.
Red Bull Racing is pleased to announce that Mark Webber's contract has been extended for another year, meaning the Australian will continue to drive for the team in 2012.
Mark Webber said: "I want to continue racing at the top in Formula One so it's a no-brainer to remain at Red Bull Racing for another year. 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."
Christian Horner said: "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 is as high as it has ever been. The pairing of Mark Webber 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."