Mark Webber to remain at Red Bull in 2013

2013 F1 season

Mark Webber, Red Bull, Silverstone, 2012Mark Webber will continue to drive for Red Bull in 2013, the team has confirmed.

Team principal Christian Horner confirmed Webber’s contract had been extended for another year. He said: “Mark has driven very well in the first nine races of this season and his performance has been impressive.

“Much of his Formula One success has been during his time with Red Bull Racing and together we have achieved 10 poles, nine wins and 31 podiums.

“As there was a strong desire from both sides to continue the partnership, it was a logical decision to extend our relationship and it is with great pleasure that we confirm Mark will drive for us in 2013.”

Webber added: “I?ve been with Red Bull Racing since 2007 and have achieved nine Grand Prix wins during that time. I?m high on confidence at the moment and firing on all cylinders. I know the team well and I?m very comfortable here; we have grown together over the years and it feels like absolutely the right thing to stay with Red Bull for another season.

“The team is constantly working hard to improve in all areas and we?ve shown that together we can win races. It?s great to be able to make this announcement off the back of the win in Silverstone at the weekend and I?m looking forward to competing on the edge and pushing myself in every race again next season.”

Webber admitted he had talked to other teams about 2013: “There were discussions with Ferrari, but my decision was to stay here.”

He described his working relationship with Sebastian Vettel as “very good”:

“Obviously with Seb, we?ve worked very, very close together for a long period of time now. I think no-one would really have envisaged how long we have worked together, so that?s probably been a bit of a surprise.

“There are not many team-mates staying together for that long in Formula One, but it?s proved to be a successful partnership with both of us working very hard with the key technical members of the team. It?s been a potent operation.

“We?re still competitive when we hit the track, no question about it, especially in 2010 and this year. Last year there wasn?t much racing between Sebastian and I, but in 2009, 2010 and this year, there have been some great battles.

“That?s been enjoyable for the team, sometimes stressful too as it?s not easy for both of us to be at the front and I can understand that, as both of us are thinking about ourselves sometimes, but ultimately we know that we need to get the cars home and get the best results for us and the team.”

Webber refused to be drawn on whether he would call time on his career in the sport after next year: “I?ve been asked this question for the past four years and my answer remains the same.

“It?s a results-based sport at the front of the grid so the future lies in my own hands. It?s down to me to deliver the on-track results.”

He added that having his contract for next year finalised would make it easier to focus on delivering results this year: “That?s another reason to just get it to bed.

“I’ve been hearing different rumours and reasons for a long time now. At the end of the day I know everything that has been going on. You want to make sure your focus is clearly on driving the car and the guys that you?re working with. It?s important the team knows you?re 100% with them, which, of course, I am.”

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168 comments on Mark Webber to remain at Red Bull in 2013

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  1. matthewf1 (@) said on 10th July 2012, 10:18

    Hamilton to Ferrari it is then

    • Eggry (@eggry) said on 10th July 2012, 10:19

      Mercedes makes more sense even though I think he will stick with Mclaren.

    • I’m not really sure that Alonso would allow that move.

        • Personally, I’m still not sure about that. Obviously he will always stay polite and talk about possibilities in an open way, but after the 2007 battle, in which he was promised being McLaren’s leader, and he found out that Ron Dennis forgot all those promises in order to favor his pupil… That’s quite a stab in the heart. And Alonso forgives but never forgets.

          IMHO, he’d even ask for Vettel first instead of Lewis, even though Vettel might be a higher challenge for him. But that’s just my personal feeling ;)

          • Hmmm said on 10th July 2012, 12:30

            Well said :)

          • David BR2 said on 10th July 2012, 15:18

            ‘Forgives but never forgets’ – You make Alonso sound the victim! Completely the opposite: none of Alonso’s behaviour in the early part of the 2007 season was justified, though I admire his battling on the track after he’d turned the whoie team against him, that took some doing. I agree though that the Alonso’s comments on Hamilton etc. are probably a polite cover for actually blocking any such move. Seems more likely. I doubt Vettel is more of a challenge in Alonso’s mind than Hamilton. In fact I wonder whether he wasn’t also worried about Webber. Everyone seems to have automatically written off Webber’s chances this season, but he’s outperforming Vettel half the time and has just a good a chance of being champion this year, in my view. And if that’s the case, would Webber accept going to Ferrari as number two after being crowned champion or at least beating Vettel this year? Unlikely. Maybe that’s why the move fell down in fact. Along with Massa’s improvement the last couple of races.

    • Girts (@girts) said on 10th July 2012, 10:42

      I think it’s pretty certain that Hamilton will stay at McLaren. Looking at Felipe Massa’s good shape at Silverstone, I wouldn’t bet against Ferrari keeping him for another year. According to Ferrari, Perez is not good enough for them yet and Webber now has a new agreement with the RBR so it’s totally unclear who else they could be looking at. I believe the chance that we won’t see any changes in the driver line-ups of the top 5 teams is quite high.

    • tobinen (@tobinen) said on 10th July 2012, 10:43

      I wouldn’t be surprised if Massa stays and it’s no change in the top teams.

    • Maksutov (@maksutov) said on 10th July 2012, 14:30

      Neither Mark nor Hamilton will ever move to Ferrari. They are too comfortable being in a UK based team close to home where everyone speaks english. The only place Hamilton may go is Red Bull. Vettel on the other hand could go Ferrari? Who knows. Schumacher could go back to Ferrari?

    • xeroxpt (@) said on 10th July 2012, 22:07

      Yeah!!!!!!!! someone british at Ferrari again! and it will mean the end of this Mclaren era, back again to the poor days of the ford and peugeot engines and hopefully a resurgence of Wiliams unless, oh wait I know! Vettel to Mclaren, Mercedes drops F1 and Rosberg fills Vettels spot at RedBull or more likely Raikkonen moves to RedBull.

  2. Eggry (@eggry) said on 10th July 2012, 10:19

    I’m a little disappointed. I expected some mixing up from top teams.
    Now it seems like it will be almost same line-up next year.

    • Slr (@slr) said on 10th July 2012, 10:23

      I also slightly feel that way. I sort of now believe that the only change at the top will be with Felipe Massa’a seat at Ferrari.

      • .. I agree, the focus now is on Massa, as I can’t see Hamilton heading to Ferrari along side Alonso next season. More likely, Massa is dropped and mid grid drivers may get a shot at Ferrari. Paul Di Resta could be a key move in the 2013 shuffle also … interesting!

      • Eggry (@eggry) said on 10th July 2012, 11:02

        as Webber’s future decided, I believe Massa’s future is almost secured. I think Hamilton and Schumacher are only remaining ones.

        • davidnotcoulthard said on 10th July 2012, 11:52

          If Mercedes quits as team and as supplier and Hamilton somehow moves to Mercedes, whatever it’s going to be named by then, imagine “Michael Schumacher- McLaren Cosworth”. I can’t see McLaren using a Ferrari engine, and Renault has a partnership with RBR, so…

          • xeroxpt (@) said on 10th July 2012, 22:16

            Mercedes will never drop out as an engine provider despite the economical diffculties. Since their entry they have been really successful and the Mclaren team became to the Germans their selected team, with Vettel and Button, an British-German alliance could be the future for Mercedes and Mclaren, since the departure of Hamilton would leave Mclaren sponsorless.

    • Todfod (@todfod) said on 10th July 2012, 12:44

      Yeah I was looking forward to some change ups as well. It’s really disappointing to see Button stay another year at Mclaren.. as I think they can do better with a younger, more exciting driver – (Di Resta, Perez, Kobayashi)

      Same goes for Felipe. While I’m pleased with his improvement over the last few races, Ferrari deserve a stronger #2 driver who can take points off the Red Bulls and Mclarens on a regular basis.

      • Nick (@nick101) said on 10th July 2012, 13:30

        Ummm…where have you been? Button signed a 3 year deal with McLaren last year.

        And just for the record, I think you’re wrong – Button is the best man for the seat.

        And here’s something else you might all laugh at – I reckon Button is going to do Hamilton again this season…

        • Vettel said on 10th July 2012, 14:26

          @nick101
          I hope that was a joke…

        • Todfod (@todfod) said on 11th July 2012, 10:17

          And here’s something else you might all laugh at – I reckon Button is going to do Hamilton again this season

          @nick101 . I think Felipe Massa will finish the season with more points than Jenson Button. Beat Hamilton?!?! Jenson got lucky once, but do not expect lightning to strike in the same place twice.

          • Nick (@nick101) said on 11th July 2012, 12:45

            As I’ve said a hundred times before – Button must be the luckiest guy in the world.

            Like I’ve also said before – Hamilton wasn’t the only one Button beat last year was he? Remind me, what place did Alonso come last year?

    • Maksutov (@maksutov) said on 11th July 2012, 4:03

      @eggry

      I agree. These drivers are boring! ;)

      Frankly, I think Hamilton should move on. The best place for him would be with Adrian Newey (Red Bull). That would be insane. But Vettel at Ferrari, frankly I don’t see it. Every top driver knows that siding against Alonso right now in a Ferrari would be a shot in the foot. So in my opinion, Vettel moving to Ferrari would be a massive downgrade for his chances at another WDC. Staying where he is with (inconsistent) Webber, is the best bet. Especially given that Horner loves Vettel so much.

      • Chip Chipmunk (@chipchipmunk) said on 12th July 2012, 12:07

        In what way is Webber inconsistent? I think he has shown that when he gets good support from the team he can match anyone! As you say Horner has a little crush on Vettel ,so for Webber to be there or thereabouts every season says a lot about him and his talent I think.

        But I would agree Vettel should and will stay at Red Bull.

  3. Wallbreaker (@wallbreaker) said on 10th July 2012, 10:20

    That was quick… Didn´t expect it to happen that fast.

    • Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 10th July 2012, 11:37

      @wallbreaker yeah, specially after they said the whole weekend that they’d not rush things up…

      Guess it was too obvious.

    • Nick.UK (@) said on 10th July 2012, 13:50

      Yeah I’m pretty dissapointed to hear this. I was quite excited to see him at Ferrari.

      I think Massa will be at Williams next year, maybe with Maldonado, maybe with Bottas. I think the advances the team has made this year will lead to new sponsorship that removes the need for pay drivers. Hopefully.

      I think there is a possibility that it could be Di Resta and Hamilton at Mercedes, with Rosberg moving to McLaren. I know Rosberg has a contract but I think they would release him of it if it meant obtaining Hamilton. It seems like a fair trade.

      I can’t wait to see the 2013 line ups just to see how wrong I am haha.

  4. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 10th July 2012, 10:26

    That’s weird. Just yesterday Christian Horner was quoted as saying the team wasn’t going to bring contract negotiations with Webber forward. And then, twenty-five hours later, the team announces Webber will stay with them.

  5. Girts (@girts) said on 10th July 2012, 10:31

    This is not too surprising but it’s a pity that some younger driver again won’t get the chance to prove what he’s capable of in a top car. In my view, this also once again proves the ineffectiveness of the Red Bull’s young driver scheme, namely, they have managed to ‘bring up’ only one top driver in more than 10 years since it was founded.

    • Drop Valencia! said on 10th July 2012, 10:43

      I think it is more the testing ban, experience is so important now, as recently as when Vettel and Hamilton started, they could have hunderds of hours under their belts, now it’s more like 3 hours or less!!!!

      • Girts (@girts) said on 10th July 2012, 10:58

        Agreed, the testing ban definitely has had a serious negative impact on the newcomers’chances. But I think it’s noticeable that the most promising young drivers (di Resta, Perez, Grosjean, even Maldonado) do not come from the RB ‘family’.

        By the way, haven’t you considered changing your nickname after the last European GP? ;)

        • celeste (@celeste) said on 10th July 2012, 14:10

          I think all the drivers that you have name are a little overrated:
          Di Resa hasn`t acomplish anything.
          Perez has have a good couple of races but I believe this is more due to the car being one of the best of the field:

          Veteran correspondent Roger Benoit has called on Sauber to rethink its driver lineup as he believes they are hampering the team’s progress.

          The Swiss team went into the British grand prix as the dark horse for victory, and afterwards even McLaren’s Jenson Button admitted that the C31 was “perhaps the best car in the field.”
          “I’ve written it in (the newspaper) Blick several times,” Benoit insisted. “With this driving duo, Sauber has no future.”

          Grosjean is hardly a rookie and he always crash on the first lap.

          And lets leave Pastor “the menace” Maldonado out of this one.

          I believe Daniel Riccardo is doing a good job, Vergne is trouble.

          • JCost (@jcost) said on 10th July 2012, 16:09

            Grosjean is hardly a rookie and he always crash on the first lap.

            Love it.

          • Girts (@girts) said on 10th July 2012, 16:15

            @celeste Well, di Resta had excellent results in lower series and, given that he had very limited testing opportunities, I think he’s been performing very well in F1, too. He fought well against a much more experienced team mate in his debut season and has been outperforming Hulkenberg this year. In my opinion, he’s ready for a top team.

            As for the Sauber duo, I don’t think that Blick is the best source (it’s Swiss yellow press and the quote comes from the British GP live ticker where Benoit indirectly blames Perez for fighting with Maldonado, too) but I agree that Kobayashi should go and that Perez still needs more experience. Checo’s British GP was wrecked by bad strategy in Q2 and Maldonado but one could argue that Perez has not been consistent enough anyway. Still, I see more potential in him than I do in Vergne and Ricciardo (in the races both STR drivers have been pretty equal).

            Grosjean is a rookie in F1 terms, he has raced in less GPs than Ricciardo. It’s hard to tell how much Grosjean himself is to blame for his 1st lap clashes and how much of them are simply bad luck. But the speed is certainly there, he’s often left Raikkonen in the shadow. Maldonado is very quick, too. If he only got his temper under control…

            But, as always, only time will tell, who was right :)

    • katederby (@katederby) said on 10th July 2012, 10:53

      The difference with putting a Vergne or a Ricciardo in the senior team in 2013 and Vettel’s move in 2008, is that in 2008 RBR was not a top team. Now RBR are 2 time WCC and can’t afford the potential of losing points while a youngster settles in. That and the testing ban makes life a lot harder for the RBR Young Drivers.

    • davidnotcoulthard said on 10th July 2012, 11:56

      @girts
      Then again, try naming an effective driver scheme other than the “Van Sauber” or the “Forza Minardi” scheme!

    • Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 10th July 2012, 12:23

      @girts well, they’ve not done much at STR, can’t see why they’d be better at Red Bull.

      It’s a sensible decision to extend Mark’s contract. That’s a world champion team chosing the best guy for the situation.

      I don’t think having a sister team in F1 helps a lot. The pressure is enormous. Maybe it’d be better to have a Red Bull team in GP2 and GP3 and try to get them a ride in one of the teams in F1 once they are matured enough. Afterall, none of the drivers that raced in Red Bull (except Vettel) were that brilliant before their arrival in F1, and their continuity is dependant of what the main team does in terms of drivers.

      • Girts (@girts) said on 10th July 2012, 13:02

        @fer-no65 I agree, Red Bull have made the best possible decision by keeping Mark for one more year but their junior team obviously needs to be managed better. The problem is that Seb might leave the team as soon as in 2014 and they are clearly not going to build the team around Mark in the future. If RBR are planning to go shopping, that is, hire Hamilton or someone else of his calibre, then maintaining such an advanced young driver scheme doesn’t make sense.

        • Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 10th July 2012, 13:24

          @girts it doesn’t make sense at all, really, specially now they are a world champion team. If they want to continue that in the future, they will have to sign the best available driver in the market, not just one guy that raced at Toro Rosso the year before.

          The Red Bull’s young driver scheme should end the day their drivers arrive to F1, it should not be extended to Red Bull’s main team. Unless they find a gem like Vettel.

          Having a look at the RB Junior Team drivers, it’s impressive how few of them really shined in their categories. The best one at the moment seems to be Carlos Sainz Jr, and he’s still a long way from F1.

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 11th July 2012, 0:44

      @girts, as an old fart myself I have to ask why a winning experienced driver should make way for a younger less experienced driver, it’s not like F1 is the only race series for a young driver to drive in.
      Webber spent years living hand to mouth,driving in lesser classes before he got into F1 and then more years in uncompetitive cars before he had an opportunity to drive a winning car, now he proving to be equally as good as his team-mate , the youngest ever double world champion. Webber has put in the hard work, why should he now give it all up to make life easy for someone younger?
      This comment uses Webber as an example but the principal is the same for other drivers and other careers.

  6. Drop Valencia! said on 10th July 2012, 10:39

    Red Bull just offered Mark a very very healthy deal I’m sure, great news and well done Mark! but I was kind of hoping the fez would make him a deal he couldn’t refuse, i’ve always wanted to be a Ferrari fan……

  7. gavmaclean (@gavmaclean) said on 10th July 2012, 10:40

    A shame for us fans who like the speculation, but I’m happy for Webber after so long in middling parts of the grid to be commanding the driver market in his last few seasons! Also, good news for Felipe. His upturn in form has coincided perfectly with the withdrawal of another candidate for his job. Might even give him another wee confidence boost! Wonder what the odds of him staying are?

  8. Harvs (@harvs) said on 10th July 2012, 10:41

    In other words the Red Bull Young Driver Programme has’nt produced another capable driver yet…

    • Eggry (@eggry) said on 10th July 2012, 11:04

      Vettel is also half-BMW product. so an half driver Red Bull delivered so far…

      • davidnotcoulthard said on 10th July 2012, 12:00

        You beat me into even thinking and/or remembering about it, let alone posting it. Spot on!

    • xjr15jaaag (@xjr15jaaag) said on 10th July 2012, 12:16

      It depends on what you mean by capable.
      All the f1 drivers on the grid are highly capable (with the exception of maldonado, but I just found out about his 2005 antics and like him even less), and there have been, to my mind, 6 Red Bull young drivers that have reached F1.
      2 of them were kicked out due to inconsistecy, Klien was chucked out for not being that good, and the other 2 aren’t experienced, and arguably mature enough to be a good enough proposition in a top team, so it makes sense to sign Mark Webber for 2013, and I think that depending on Ricciardo and vergnes results next year, you could witness one of ythem in a Red Bull in 2014.

      • OEL F1 (@oel-f1) said on 10th July 2012, 13:24

        Klien, Liuzzi, Speed, Vettel, Buemi, Alguersuari, Ricciardo and Vergne. That’s 8.

        • celeste (@celeste) said on 10th July 2012, 14:50

          Liuzzi and Speed were not good enough and they have troubles with the team…

          • q85 said on 10th July 2012, 17:33

            and klien and jamie did ok but were pushed as they were about to flourish….

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 10th July 2012, 18:06

            @q85 – Klien did okay in 2005, but actually went backwards in 2006. He scored 2 freaking points against Coulthard’s 14. How was he going to flourish.

            Alguersuari improved only in the races, he was actually worse in qualifying in 2011 than he was in 2010 (losing to Buemi 11-8 then 13-6). And even then, over half of his points finishes were from 18th on the grid, and the tyre advantage over his teammate, who outscored him in the other 2 years they spent together.

          • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 10th July 2012, 18:34

            @david-a I thought Klien was a good example of a driver who got his F1 break too soon. Red Bull paid a huge sum to put him in the Jaguar in 2004.

            I remember in 2006 he was running in front of Coulthard in Monaco until his gearbox died towards the end of the race. Coulthard went on to score Red Bull’s first podium.

          • snowman (@snowman) said on 10th July 2012, 21:32

            In Klein’s one off race at HRT he out-qualified Bruno by over a second which was impressive having not driven an F1 car in years and also the fact of Bruno being their regular driver.

      • HoHum (@hohum) said on 11th July 2012, 0:50

        It might be to early to write them off, they may improve with age and experience. The Vettels and Hamiltons of this world are a rare breed indeed.

  9. Osvaldas31 (@osvaldas31) said on 10th July 2012, 10:41

    So Webber indeed had talks with Ferrari. So it indicates, that Ferrari are searching for a driver, and probably, they aren’t looking for a young driver, which is strange when you look to other teams, which develops young drivers, but on the other hand, Ferrari never preffered young drivers.

    As for Webber contract with Red Bull, I think it was the best option for Webber, because in other teams he could hardly fight for WDC, because of car cometetivness or being number 2 driver. And I hope Webber will finally claim WDC this year, because he’s driving very well this year.

    • FlyingLobster27 said on 10th July 2012, 11:17

      Alonso is at Ferrari until 2016 at least, so they want someone “mature” enough to just rack up serious points for the team. No over-ambitious or unstable drivers wanted then.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 10th July 2012, 11:28

      @osvaldas31, it was pretty clear from the start, that Ferrari would be looking at a proven race winner to back Alonso. Webber would have been perfect for them, but he’s not available. I would think that Massa has good chances of staying on, now that he seems to be a bit better on these tyres lately.
      I do think they might have been talking to a guy like Kovalainen (race winner, knows Alonso) and maybe even Glock

  10. sumedh said on 10th July 2012, 10:45

    Expected Decision! Massa must be a relieved man :) For some time atleast

  11. Spawinte (@spawinte) said on 10th July 2012, 10:46

    Just goes to show how untrustworthy info from teams/sources are: http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/101100

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 10th July 2012, 10:51

      @spawinte

      “over the next few weeks we will be talking about 2013″

      They must have talked very quickly…

      • Girts (@girts) said on 10th July 2012, 11:10

        F1 teams must have lost themselves in some version of Bermuda Triangle where time has a different shape / structure. Brawn has said the Mercedes drivers decision should be taken during the next six weeks, Schumacher himself is going to think until October and Haug, when interviewed by German TV on Sunday, saw nothing strange about it.

      • James (@jamesf1) said on 10th July 2012, 11:14

        James Allen suggest the deal was done before the British GP.

      • Bullfrog (@bullfrog) said on 10th July 2012, 14:39

        Webber sounded sure he knew where he was going next year in his interview with Lee McKenzie (the one where she talked to him while he’s driving from home to Silverstone, it’s somewhere in the BBC build-up over the weekend)

        I got the impression he’d signed (but whether for Ferrari or Red Bull, I was less certain). I think he still said he was going to talk about 2013 in the coming weeks…

        • David BR2 said on 10th July 2012, 19:18

          I’m also now wondering too about Hamilton’s remarks indicating that he’s decided (that he’s going to stay at McLaren, presumably). Maybe all connected.

        • HoHum (@hohum) said on 11th July 2012, 0:58

          I’d say he had the offer from Ferrari ” I’l definitely be driving next year, but who with” and just needed RBR to match the deal and sign a contract. Outdriving his team-mate didn’t hurt either.

  12. MazdaChris (@mazdachris) said on 10th July 2012, 10:51

    This is an interesting (if rather unsurprising) announcement, which tells you something about Formula One in the modern era. Namely, that Ferrari don’t have the kind of ‘brand power’ they once did. When I started watching F1, even though it was in the heyday of Williams and McLaren, there was always a sense that the Scuderia had a certain romantic allure which meant they had the pick of drivers on the grid. When young karters dreamt of racing in F1, that dream would almost invariably include a set of red overalls and a beautiful scarlet car.

    These days I get a sense that the stock of Ferrari is a little diminished. Its privileged place in the makeup of the sport has certainly been eroded in the past decade, with Ferrari receiving a less preferential cut of the money, and having less political influence than it once had. Drivers are also a little more canny than in days of old, with managers seeking out the most competitive seat on the grid they can. A seat which hasn’t been in the red car of late.

    The fact that Alonso has pledged his future to the team, and seems happy to honour that agreement regardless the performance of the team, tells us that there is still a certain special something about the prancing horse. But few can argue that the days where drivers would step over their own mothers to drive for the oldest team on the grid seem to be numbered. Webber has made a logical decision to stay in a competitive car rather than risk spending the rest of his career in the doldrums. Time will tell whether that was the right decision.

    • Rodrrico (@rodrrico) said on 10th July 2012, 11:08

      I couldn’t agree more.

    • Girts (@girts) said on 10th July 2012, 11:24

      I agree and that’s a good thing. I actually believe that Alonso went to Ferrari simply because he had no place else to go if he wanted to fight for the world championship again as McLaren’s door was closed forever and RBR had their own plans. I believe it’s the way most top drivers see it: Ferrari is just one of the few teams that constantly produce winning cars, which is why it’s good to be there.

      I was actually sorry for Fisico when he leaved the raising Force India to join Ferrari as they were just waiting for the dismal 2009 season to be over and Alonso to arrive. At least he won Le Mans with Ferrari this year but, for me as his fan, the end of Fisichella’s F1 career was almost as hugely disappointing as the last two laps of Suzuka 2005.

      • Tifoso1989 (@tifoso1989) said on 10th July 2012, 14:21

        I actually believe that Alonso went to Ferrari simply because he had no place else to go

        I think you’re wrong in 2009 Red Bull were pushing flat out to get Alonso’s services Fernando himself admitted that & said that he wanted to join Ferrari to be part of their History rather than being a WDC with another team
        it’s always dramatic when it comes to Ferrari

        • Todfod (@todfod) said on 11th July 2012, 11:32

          I don’t remember that news.. where did hear you that? I would have thought Alonso would have taken a RB drive for 2010, and then joined in 2011 when Raikkonens contract ended

      • HoHum (@hohum) said on 11th July 2012, 1:03

        Santanders millions may also have played a part in Alonsos decision to go to Ferrari.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 10th July 2012, 11:30

      A brand power also saying – whatever you have now, we will double it up – but I agree with what you say about Ferrari not being that big a brand compared to others currently.

    • Journeyer (@journeyer) said on 10th July 2012, 11:43

      This just screams CotD to me. 100% agreed.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 10th July 2012, 11:56

      @mazdachris Interesting points. Reminds me of something from yesterday’s Stats and Facts: Alonso’s pole was only Ferrari’s third in the last three-and-a-half seasons. Not a great reflection of their competitiveness in recent seasons.

      • Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 10th July 2012, 12:31

        @keithcollantine well, Mclaren surely isn’t doing MUCH better… they just scored 7 poles since 2009, 4 only since 2010. For a team like McLaren, that’s seriously rubbish.

        Red Bull almost got them all. Plus, they are the only team with both drivers capable of scoring poles consistently.

      • HoHum (@hohum) said on 11th July 2012, 1:09

        @keithcollantine, Ferrari have always had their ups and downs but I think a case could be made for their decline being a natural consequence of the more restrictive, homogenised rules.

    • davidnotcoulthard said on 10th July 2012, 12:08

      @mazdachris
      Well, the Beautiful scarlet car is gone now, replace by ugly automobiles. Maybe even the Tyrrell P34 (Or optionally the Brabham + Fan car) is more beautiful than the F2012.

    • xjr15jaaag (@xjr15jaaag) said on 10th July 2012, 12:21

      I think that’s because teams like Red Bull have quite frankly trampled over them, and have to a certain extent ruined their reputation; a fizzy drinks company has in 6 years or so, beaten the most historic names in the business.

    • sumedh said on 10th July 2012, 18:13

      I don’t think this one incident means that Ferrari’s allure has reduced. Less smart drivers will still fall for Ferrari’s history and romantic allure. (eg: Fisichella, Barrichello).

      I think he simply chose the faster car to sit in. That is it. There is no diminishing of Ferrari’s aura for the drivers.

    • romeo said on 11th July 2012, 2:02

      If you consider the fact that PM is still paying Ferrari much more than the best sponsor of any other team, although they dont have a single sign of their famous brand on the car, this may hold a candle about the brand power of prancing horse.

      Also it is not a new thing that drivers may have concerns to come Ferrari. Did you remember Schumacher day, there were not much driver willing to race against him in the same team.

      Webber did the right thing as he may cope with Vettel time to time but imo he has very little chance against Alonso, and Ferrari is not the best team to be if you can not perform close to your team mate.

  13. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 10th July 2012, 10:56

    As a few people have noted, there’s some interesting knock-on effects from this announcement:

    1. Perhaps the most likely candidate for the seat Massa is expected to vacate at Ferrari is gone.
    2. If Hamilton is going to Red Bull, he’ll need a deal somewhere else for 2013 first.
    3. Ricciardo and Vergne aren’t being promoted so expect them to stay put at Toro Rosso

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 10th July 2012, 11:30

      STR might still drop both at the end of the year though!

      • Girts (@girts) said on 10th July 2012, 11:41

        @bascb I’m tired of all these ‘decent’ STR drivers. If they can’t find potential ‘race winners’ anyway, then let’s have some fun at least. Yamamoto and Maldonado to STR!

        • davidnotcoulthard said on 10th July 2012, 12:12

          Maldonado + BADoer or Trulli (ah…what will the train look like?) + Badoer? Whatever it will be Badoer has to be in there. A ’09 version of Romain would be nice, too. Don’t forget Narain K!

      • celeste (@celeste) said on 10th July 2012, 14:25

        TRS, has said that they will give their drivers at least 2 years to develop.

        Both Alguersuari and Buemi where there for two years. Vettle was in there a year and a half and so did Burdois.

        So I don`t think they will drop them, but they both can certanly do more. I`m not sure that their car is at good as last year.

    • Pedro Costa (@pnunocosta) said on 10th July 2012, 12:07

      As I said yesterday, Webber wouldn´t throw away his chance of fighting for this year´s championship by moving to Ferrari. The only top seat vacant for next year will be Schumacher´s Mercedes and my guess is Di Resta gonna take it but I would like it to be given to Kubica, though it seems pretty unlik

      • What is the news on Kubica (if any?) Such a shame, I would love to see him back

      • HoHum (@hohum) said on 11th July 2012, 1:23

        Schumi is doing the job for Mercedes but is Mercedes doing the job for Schumi ? If Schumi is not driving next year I think it will be his decision to leave, not Mercedes position to dump him.
        Further thought, a Schumi/Vettel RBR team would be a great marketing line-up and probably still capable of winning both championships, at least without the threat of an Alonso/Webber team at Ferrari.

    • gavmaclean (@gavmaclean) said on 10th July 2012, 12:39

      Webber’s decision to stay is entirely logical – a move to Ferrari would have been fatal for his title chances. Considering their recent reluctance to back Webber when he has committed to drive for RBR, do you think they would let him go to Ferrari with the #1 when they could just back Vettel?

      Webber is just the red herring (pun?) that Button was last season. The “2012″ driver market has just been put off another year until 2014 and these mad manic moves we’ve been expecting for years seem to be entirely dependent on Webber calling it a day. I would argue that the most likely candidate for the 2013 Ferrari drive would be Massa – with his recent upturn in form, it’s his to lose.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 10th July 2012, 14:15

      Perhaps the most likely candidate for the seat Massa is expected to vacate at Ferrari is gone.

      I think Massa will stay at Ferrari, though the move makes no sense to my mind. He should have been released at the start of this year, but now it’s looking like Ferrari will struggle with an underperforming driver for two seasons longer than they otherwise should be. Fernando Alonso is good, but he’s not good enough to single-handedly win the World Constructors’ Championship. Sure, Sergio Perez constantly gets named as a potential replacement for Massa, but I think people under-estimate the pull that Luca di Montezemolo has within the team. Ferrari will probably keep Massa for 2013, and then look at someone new in 2014. Which is probably the worst thing they can do, but at the same time, it’s probably the only thing they can do.

      If Hamilton is going to Red Bull, he’ll need a deal somewhere else for 2013 first.

      I don’t think Hamilton was ever on Red Bull’s radar. Sure, they would have known that he might be free, but the speed at which they signed Webber suggests that if they were considering Hamilton, he was only a back-up in the event Webber let the team. I think it’s far more likely that Hamilton will wind up at Mercedes, if he doesn’t stay at McLaren.

      Ricciardo and Vergne aren’t being promoted so expect them to stay put at Toro Rosso

      If they keep going the way they have been this year, it wouldn’t surprise me to see Red Bull drop one or both of them for 2013. The car isn’t particularly good (it isn’t particularly anything), but I believe that any idiot can win in a good car – the best drivers can make the most of a bad car, and neither Vergne nor Ricciardo is doing that right now. If both drivers are released at the end of the year, then I think Toro Rosso might take Antonio Felix da Costa and Mitch Evans, or one of them with Sebastien Buemi as a yardstick to be measured against.

      • Journeyer (@journeyer) said on 10th July 2012, 14:59

        I think it’s far more likely that Hamilton will wind up at Mercedes, if he doesn’t stay at McLaren.

        So by that logic… Hamilton to Mercedes, Rosberg to Ferrari (through a mutually-agreed separation)?

      • JCost (@jcost) said on 10th July 2012, 16:51

        @prisoner-monkeys performance-wise Mercedes is not better than McLaren, so what do they have to attract Lewis? Fatter pay? I don’t think so. I think this Hamilton-Mercedes thing is a long shot.

      • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 11th July 2012, 5:18

        @maksutov, @jcost

        Hamilton to Mercedes? Why on earth would he do that!?

        Hamilton will only move to a better team. Not the other way around.

        performance-wise Mercedes is not better than McLaren, so what do they have to attract Lewis? Fatter pay? I don’t think so. I think this Hamilton-Mercedes thing is a long shot.

        If Hamilton genuinely doesn’t want to remain at McLaren, he may not have a choice but to go to Mercedes. They would be the next-best alternative.

        Similarly, if McLaren feel Hamilton is taking too long re-signing with them, and they lose confidence that he will re-commit to them, they may pre-emptively drop him and go for someone else because they could be afraid that Hamilton will leave the team and they will be left with no viable alternative as his replacement, which will ruin their 2013 season before it even begins. It happened in 2008 with Heikki Kovalainen – sure, he’s good now, but he wasn’t ready for McLaren – and they’ll be eager to prevent it from happening.

        Like I said, I think the most-likely outcome is that Hamilton will stay at McLaren. But if he leaves, then I think he will probably go to Mercedes. The only other remotely-possible choice is Williams, but I think that’s incredibly unlikely.

  14. James (@jamesf1) said on 10th July 2012, 11:02

    So Ferrari are now more than likely looking for a driver for just one year. It’s said by many that Vettel has a contract in place for 2014 at Ferrari, for as long as both sides deliver results between now and the end of 2013. One would also assume that it depends on how Red Bull perform as well, Vettel may feel that staying put will be more beneficial to himself.

    Put’s Ferrari in a tricky situation really. They potentially may only need a driver for one season, but possibly more than that. They need to look at who is going to deliver the goods over a season, but could be easy to ship off should they need to.

    Button – is widely understood to have been linked with Ferrari, but he’s only his first year of a “multi-year” deal at Mclaren. Contracts arent worth the paper they’re written on nowadays, but I think he’s unlikely to be going anywhere.

    Perez – apparantly too aggressive and too inconsistent to drive for Ferrari. I find it hard to believe, he’s a quick driver and has kept a level head during his career. He’s in the Ferrari development program, the team know him and should settle in quicker. Problem is, he is going to want a one year deal. He’s young and hungry for success. His problem has been that has been caught in midfield incidents throughout his career, many of which cant be said to be his fault. I think this blemish’s his fairly impressive record so far.

    Di Resta – Has been linked with Mercedes and Ferrari, but is he good enough? Much like Perez he’s fairly quick and gets on with the job, but hasnt been able to deliver as yet. He’s split with his manager, Anthony Hamilton, following a disagreement on where they believe Di Resta’s career is heading. Was Hamilton Snr unhappy with the Ferrari links?

    Hamilton – If Vettel is heading to Ferrari in 2014, this would be very unlikely to happen. Although I would discount it. He’s out of contract with Mclaren at the end of the year, the car and the team hasnt been great in the last couple of years (pit stop errors, underfuelling, lying to the stewards). Hamilton has been linked with Mercedes, so maybe he would fancy joining Ferrari for one year before replacing Michael Schumacher, if he extends his contract.

    Michael Schumacher – Out of contract with Mercedes and shows no signs of wanting to call it quits yet. If he doesnt extend with Mercedes, doesnt retire and wants one more year, could this previously unstoppable marriage come forth once more?

    After these guys, who else is there? Kovalainen is out of contract with Caterham after this season. He’s impressed many in the paddock with his performances in a substandard car. Both Toro Rosso guys arent really impressing at all, and both would probably be tied to Red Bull anyway.

    Beyond that, do they keep Massa for one more year? Is that something Ferrari can afford to do? He’s been a shadow of his former self since coming back from his accident and racing against Alonso. I would find it hard to keep him on for another personally. The team need’s a change. Massa has been with them for a while now.

    • robbiepblake (@driftin) said on 10th July 2012, 11:37

      Button’s ‘multi-year’ deal is 3 years I think, so that means it expires at the end of next season

    • xjr15jaaag (@xjr15jaaag) said on 10th July 2012, 12:28

      Jules bianchi?
      Unlikely, I know, but he is part of the ferrari development programme

    • Girts (@girts) said on 10th July 2012, 13:14

      It’s interesting that, in one of his latest columns for the BBC, Jaime Alguersuari sounded pretty confident about his return to F1 in 2013. Another option would be Adrian Sutil. There have been some rumours relating both to Ferrari but I have seen no serious reports so far.

    • vinicius.jlantunes (@vinicius-jlantunes) said on 10th July 2012, 14:21

      Well, Checo is said to be inconsistent and too aggressive to drive for Ferrari… but is Massa any better (in terms of consistency at least)? If he keeps his improved form then I think his chances of staying one year longer are good. Otherwise, while it is not Ferrari’s way to pick young drivers… maybe they sign Perez for a change?

      • James (@jamesf1) said on 10th July 2012, 17:02

        That’s what I thought. But Perez would want at least a two year deal. He’s young and you’d like to think he has a long future in the sport, where would he go after one season at Ferrari? Hard to imagine him going back to Sauber, I dont think they’d want a driver coming and go as Ferrari please. Sauber have their own future and place in the championship to consider too.

        • vinicius.jlantunes (@vinicius-jlantunes) said on 10th July 2012, 17:16

          Well… I see your point, but if he was offered a Ferrari seat to prove himself for a year… I think he would take it. If he did well Ferrari would maybe extend the deal. Otherwise… he would have difficult times.

          • James (@jamesf1) said on 10th July 2012, 19:41

            But the point of finding a driver for a year is to keep the seat warm for the arrival of Vettel.

    • “Di Resta – Has been linked with Mercedes and Ferrari, but is he good enough? Much like Perez he’s fairly quick and gets on with the job, but hasnt been able to deliver as yet”

      I have to disagree with this observation. As touched on above, Di Resta out qualified Sutil on numerous occassions and 9 times out of 10, appears to be doing the same with Hulk (and I don’t see Hulk as a slow driver by any means), so outlines what Di Resta is capable of in a slower car/team.

      Di Resta needs to land in a top team soon, or I feel he could become another “nearly man” without a top drive opportunity.

  15. sid_prasher (@) said on 10th July 2012, 11:03

    This is a smart decision from Webber.RBR is likely to remain the top team for some time and it makes sense to stay there.
    Perhaps Massa will get a 1 year extension now; Alonso clearly prefers to have him. I guess it helps his driving when he doesn’t feel threatened inside the team. Though almost completely impossible I would love to see Kimi join Ferrari :)

    • James (@jamesf1) said on 10th July 2012, 11:12

      It would be awesome, but I dont think Kimi will go back to Ferrari after they shafted him in 2009. He was driving better than Massa, delivering the results in a dog of a car but they got rid of him. I think Ferrari felt morally obliged to keep Felipe after his accident, support him through it.

      Also, Kimi has a deal with Lotus anyhow =)

      • Gridl0k said on 10th July 2012, 11:24

        A deal which gave him some ownership of the team, if you believe the scuttlebutt. So doubt he’s going anywhere.

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