Red Bull team boss Christian Horner has played down reports that 2012 could be Mark Webber’s last season in Formula One.
Red Bull team consultant Helmut Marko in Hungary told the Australian broadcaster One that 2012 will “probably” be 35-year-old Webber’s last in formula one.
He said Red Bull is therefore looking at “one of our juniors” to replace the Australian for 2013.
Horner however insists Austrian Marko was quoted out of context as he was being interviewed about Webber’s countryman, the Red Bull junior and HRT driver Daniel Ricciardo.
“I think Helmut was probably focusing more on Ricciardo, and these things can obviously get lost in translation,” he is quoted by the Daily Mail.
“Mark could have another two, three or four years in F1. That’s down to him because he is still very competitive, very hungry.”
Reports prior to Hungary had indicated that a new contract for Webber in 2012 was now a mere formality.
“We’re talking about Mark for next year, and I’m expecting him to be here,” confirmed Horner.
“Both sides are keen to continue, so during the next few weeks we will take the opportunity to sit down, and with this break in the championship look at next year.”