Tag Archives for MarkWebber
When you’re topping the championship standings, you usually don’t have to worry about finding a ride for next season. Mark Webber and Red Bull Racing are a bit of a special case, though. For one thing, at 34 years old, Webber isn’t the youngest driver on the grid. (That distinction belongs to his team-mate Sebastian Vettel.) For another, Red Bull’s one of the most secretive teams on the grid. And Webber’s in the middle of some controversy regarding a crash during last week’s Turkish Grand Prix.
For these and many more reasons, much speculation has revolved around Webber’s ride for next year, but that speculation can now be put to rest as Red Bull has confirmed the extension of his contract for another season. With Vettel already contracted for a couple more years to come, the announcement effectively confirms the team’s line-up for 2011 with the same two drivers it’s been running since David Coulthard retired at the end of 2008. It also places Red Bull alongside Ferrari, McLaren and Lotus as the only teams to secure its line-up for the season to come. Follow the jump for the official announcement.
[Source: Red Bull]
Those who caught our post-race coverage of the Turkish Grand Prix last weekend may still be scratching their heads wondering what happened. With the bulk of the race behind them, Red Bull Racing looked set to sail to a 1-2 finish, with Mark Webber (left) leading virtually uninhibited from pole. But then the unthinkable happened: Sebastian Vettel (right), who had been catching up to his teammate, moved to pass for the lead, but instead crashed into his wingman’s car. Webber recuperated and took third place, but Vettel’s race was over.
The big question on everyone’s mind, however, is what exactly went wrong, and more pressingly, who was at fault. Opinions appeared divided among fans, pundits, even the team itself, and nobody was saying a thing. To observers it seemed obvious that Vettel was at fault, yet no clear attribution of guilt was issued. So what exactly happened?
Team orders, according to some speculation. The team claims it doesn’t issue its drivers such controversial directives, but some reports indicated that just before the crash, team principal Christian Horner told Webber’s race engineer Ciaron Pilbeam to instruct his driver to let Vettel by. Pilbeam reportedly refused – or simply neglected – to pass on the message, leaving Webber clueless to the plan.
If such team orders were indeed issued, Red Bull certainly isn’t about to admit it. Pilbeam could get the old heave-ho as a result, but what good is a scapegoat if you can’t place blame on him, anyway?
[Source: GrandPrix.com | Image: Cristina Quicler/AFP/Getty]
After winning three out of the seven races so far this season and topping both championship standings, Red Bull’s dynamic duo of Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber must be looking mighty tempting to any number of rival teams on the grid. But the most alluring, according to recent reports, could be Ferrari.
For his part, Vettel is widely regarded as the personal favorite of one Bernie Ecclestone, who could be helping to broker a deal that would see the young German wearing red in the near future. Vettel, however, is on a long-term contract with Red Bull, leaving the possibility open for a few years from now.
More likely for the near future, however, could be Webber. The 33-year-old Australian driver – fresh from back-to-back victories at the Spanish and Monaco grands prix – is on a year-to-year contract with Red Bull, which could leave him free to switch teams in the off-season. Red Bull chief Christian Horner has hinted at his intention to retain the driver currently topping the standings, but until a contract is signed… mind you, contracts in F1 aren’t worth what they once were.
While Fernando Alonso continues to impress, Ferrari is widely speculated to be dissatisfied with their second driver Felipe Massa, and could cut the Brazilian lose for next season. Alternative reports place Renault’s Robert Kubica in the Scuderia’s hot seat, but only time will tell.
[Source: ESPN | Image: Clive Mason/Getty]