F1: Webber extends Red Bull deal
Mark Webber has signed a one-year contract at Red Bull for 2013, thus ending speculation linking the Australian with Ferrari and ending the remote possibility that McLaren's Lewis Hamilton might move to Milton Keynes.
In a statement released by Red Bull yesterday, the timing of which caught Formula One on the hop, Webber admitted for the first time that he had held talks with Ferrari but decided to commit himself to another season at Red Bull, with whom he has raced since 2007.
"My main focus is on this year's championship," Webber said. "In addition it's an amazing bunch of guys and girls at Red Bull Racing and I really, really like working with them. That has a huge effect on me and how I perform in the car and it helped me in my decision."
He added, with typical candour: "There were discussions with Ferrari, but my decision was to stay here."
Webber's win in Sunday's British Grand Prix enabled him to consolidate second place in the drivers' championship, 13 points behind Ferrari's Fernando Alonso but 16 points ahead of Red Bull team-mate and double world champion Sebastian Vettel, with whom he has had a sometimes tense relationship.
However, the Australian, who turns 36 next month, said that in the end it had been an easy decision and one which would allow him to focus 100pc on his title challenge.
"I virtually know everyone's shoe size," he said. "I know how everyone ticks... It's important the team knows you're 100pc with them, which, of course, I am." (© Daily Telegraph, London)