Two young chargers are waiting in the wings, but Mark Webber insists he intends to extend his F1 career beyond the 2012 season.
Among the top names at Red Bull, however, the Australian veteran is the odd one out, with only a one-year contract in his pocket At the same time, the energy drink company has appointed two young rookies – Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne – to its junior team Toro Rosso.
“Obviously there is probably a chance with Red Bull, but at the moment I don’t want to look too far ahead,” said Frenchman Vergne this week at Jerez.
Webber will turn 36 this year, but he told Austrian Servus TV he sees himself on the grid “for many years” to come.
“The feeling I had in Australia (over the winter) was the desire to come back here and drive the car,” he said.
Nevertheless, the big rumour is that Dr Helmut Marko – the Red Bull driver manager – decided to appoint Ricciardo and Vergne so that he can assess which one will be Sebastian Vettel’s teammate in 2013.
“I can’t do anything about the rumours – I remember I was going to be replaced way back in 2008. That’s just Formula One,” said Webber.