Mark Webber says he is eager to stay put at Red Bull Racing in 2009 following his third foray into the elite top ten shoot out this year.
The Australian, who arrives at the Bosphorus fresh from three consecutive points finishes, hustled his RBR up into sixth place in qualifying and now he s thinking about his future with the Milton-Keynes based outfit.
“We are talking now. I am free next year but I am massively keen to stay here,â€ Webber told reporters.
The 31-year-old, whose contract expires at the end of the season joined Red Bull Racing last year and has scored all of the team s eight points in 2008.
“What I love about this team is that I am employed to drive the car,” confirmed Webber. “If I have to do a contract day or a PR day, I ride a jet ski instead of going to talk to people that don t want to see me and I don t want to see them. That s great.”
Red Bull saw both their cars storm into the top ten in qualifying for the first time this year. Webber, who threw his RB4 off the road in Friday warm up, was delighted with his third row grid slot while David Coulthard was happy with P10.
“It s good to get P6 today, after letting the team down yesterday with a bit of a shunt,â€ said the Queanbeyan born Aussie. “The only downside of today s result is that we re on the left-hand side of the grid, but, apart from that, it went very well.â€
Coulthard in the sister Red Bull followed Webber into Q3 but elected to run a heavier fuel load than his team-mate in the final session after using all of his option soft tyres to get there.
“I m happy to be through to the top ten after problems at the last two grands prix,â€ exulted the Scott reflecting on his recent collisions with other drivers.
“We used all our option tyres to get there though, two sets in Q1 and two sets in Q2, as I didn t want to take any risks. As a result, we only had primes left at the end. We only did one run in Q3 as we wanted to save fuel, so the car was very heavy.â€
Red Bull had dominated the pre-qualifying warm-up session and Team Principal Christian Horner was pleased to see the practice pace translated into a solid qualifying outcome.
“A strong team performance in this morning s practice was converted into solid grid positions this afternoon for tomorrow s race,â€ confirmed the Englishman.
“Mark used his head in the final session (Q3) and aborted a lap he wasn t entirely happy with, which meant he saved a lap of fuel. He then did an excellent lap and extracted everything from the car on option tyres to get P6.â€
“David did an excellent job to get comfortably through to Q3. As he had no soft tyres left for his final run, we were always adopting a strategic game with him. It was a strong team performance.â€