Red Bull made a snap decision to re-sign Mark Webber in order to stop the “constant rumours” about the Australian’s future. That is the claim of Dr Helmut Marko, who just hours before the team announced the 35-year-old Australian is staying in 2013 actually said Red Bull would only decide its next lineup “in August”.
Why the rapid change of heart?
“Because we wanted to put an end to the constant rumours and the resulting unrest,” the Austrian told Kleine Zeitung newspaper.
Marko said Red Bull also wanted to “send a clear message about 2013”.
Webber, whose slumped 2011 form has bounced back with a bang this year, had been linked with a sensational switch to Ferrari.
“Mark is relaxed and motivated this year unlike ever before,” Marko continued.
After the driver announcement on Tuesday, team boss Christian Horner told Sky Sports “the lure of Ferrari” had been a “significant” factor in Webber’s deliberations for 2013. The news of Webber’s new deal will be a big relief for Felipe Massa.
“Our prediction?” wrote Auto Motor und Sport. “The five big teams will not change (their drivers) for 2013.”
Ferrari team boss Stefano Domenicali is quoted by O Estado de S.Paulo (Brazil) and Marca (Spain) newspapers: “I have often said that we are not in a hurry” to decide Fernando Alonso’s 2013 teammate.
As Webber was the prime candidate to replace Massa, this week’s news as well as the Brazilian driver’s recently improved form indicates that Ferrari might simply leave its lineup alone for 2013.
After Silverstone, Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo said: “I am very pleased to have seen that Felipe was very quick, fighting hard and consistently throughout the weekend.
“It was very important for him and for us”.