Mark Webber has revealed that the fact he wants to charge for this year’s title influenced his decision to stay at Red Bull in 2013.
Until Red Bull announced he is staying alongside Sebastian Vettel next season, the Australian was strongly linked with a move to Ferrari. Even in the official media statement, Webber admitted there had been “discussions with Ferrari” about replacing Felipe Massa. He then acknowledged to the Associated Press that it is “important the team knows you’re 100 per cent with them, which, of course, I am.”
But that might not have been the case if the rumoured switch to Ferrari had become fact.
Webber has already felt the sting of questionable equality, famously declaring on the radio after winning the 2010 British grand prix that it was a feat “Not bad for a number two driver”. Two years on and with his teammate Sebastian Vettel now the reigning back-to-back title winner, Webber is a win and 16 points up on the German in the drivers’ standings. He senses it could be his last chance to win a championship.
“The fact that I am trying to win the championship this year was a consideration,” Webber admitted in a BBC column. “It would have been that bit harder to keep the momentum going if I was moving to a rival team. That was a factor, but it was certainly not the biggest one.”
Webber’s new contract is for yet another one-year term, but he insists retirement is not looming just yet.
“I’m not thinking about that at all,” said the Australian, who turns 36 in August. “The contract is just for one year, but I’m looking to stay in F1 for longer than that.”