Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has given his strongest indication yet that the team will look to re-sign Mark Webber when both parties kick off their contract discussions later this year, having revealed that Webber has indicated to the team his wishes to remain with the squad.
Webber has remained on a year-by-year contract with Red Bull Racing, and to-date, both driver and team have indicated they aren’t in any rush to formalise their future plans together. The team has locked most of its senior figures into long-term contracts – including Horner, star designer Adrian Newey and lead driver Sebastian Vettel – and Webber is one of the few who is technically out of contract.
“When we decide to sit down and talk about it we will do so,” Horner replied in the lead-up to the Canadian Grand Prix weekend when asked about the Australian’s contract situation.
“We have only completed six grands prix out of probably 19, so probably some time a little bit later in the summer we will sit down and discuss next year.
“Mark has made it clear that he wants to drive next year, and conversations with Mark tend to be quite straightforward.”
Despite Webber having scored just over half the number of points accrued by team-mate Vettel this season to-date, Horner still spoke in glowing terms about the Grand Prix veteran.
“On points [alone, Mark] has had the best start to an F1 campaign to-date,” Horner added. “He has obviously struggled with the Pirellis more than [Sebastian], and he is working hard to get to grips with that.
“But he is still a fierce competitor and he is still pushing very, very hard – as we saw in Barcelona a few weeks ago where he achieved his first pole position.
“As far as the future is concerned we agree to take things one step at a time and at the appropriate time we will sit down and talk about the future. It is down to the team and Mark to decide if they want to continue that relationship, and we just wanted to see whether he has still got the motivation and desire that he clearly has.
“We are very happy with him in the team.”
[Image via Sutton Images]