Mark Webber could well avoid heading into retirement at the end of the 2011 season, according to Red Bull team boss Christian Horner.Mark Webber could stay on with Red Bull beyond 2011, says team boss Christian Horner

After his most successful – and perhaps controversial – season in his F1 career, Webber signed a one-year extension to his Red Bull contract for the 2011 season, citing reasonable concerns that a long-term deal wouldn’t be fair on anyone if he felt his motivation was flagging.

And while Webber, at 34, is certainly in the autumn of his F1 career, Horner did not rule out the Australian driver remaining on board with the team for more seasons.

“Mark isn’t approaching this year like this is his final year,” he told the Daily Mail newspaper.

“We both agreed to keep his contract on a yearly basis at this stage in his career because it’s important for us to see he’s got the speed, motivation, hunger and commitment.

“All of those things look undiminished at the moment, if anything, burning brighter than ever.”

Horner added that the six-time Grand Prix winner was “leaner, lighter and extremely motivated” ahead of the 2011 season kick-off in mid-March at Bahrain.

“We’ll see how this season develops and obviously as we head towards the latter part of the summer then we’ll start to talk about the following season,” Horner added.

[Original image via Sutton Images]

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.
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