Horner relieved to keep Webber

Australian has agreed to stay on as Sebastian Vettel's team-mate

Last Updated: 10/07/12 3:33pm

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Red Bull boss Christian Horner has admitted the team had to overcome the 'significant lure of Ferrari' in persuading Mark Webber to stay for another season.

Fresh from the Australian's victory at Silverstone in the British GP, Red Bull have announced that Webber has extended his stay at Milton Keynes for the 2013 campaign.

MARK WEBBER F1 FACTBOX

2002: F1 debut for Minardi, finishes fifth in first race (Melbourne).

2003: Joins Jaguar.

2005: Joins Williams, first podium at Monaco.

2007: Joins Red Bull.

2009: First victory at Nurburgring.

2010: Title contender but team-mate Sebastian Vettel becomes Champion.

2011: Struggles as Vettel retains title with ease.

2012: Wins Monaco and British GPs. Signs new one-year contract for Red Bull.

With Felipe Massa in the final year of his Ferrari contract, Webber has admitted that he held talks with the Scuderia about replacing the Brazilian as Fernando Alonso's team-mate before deciding to stay on at Red Bull alongside Sebastian Vettel - much to his boss' relief.

"We were always reasonably confident that Mark would stay. He's grown up in the team, he's enjoyed all his F1 success with the team - all of his nine victories have come in Red Bull Racing cars," Horner told Sky Sports News.

"He's been performing very well this year, the pairing of Sebastian and Mark is very strong, but of course the lure of Ferrari is significant. We were very happy to be able to confirm he is staying."

The close proximity of the deal to Sunday's victory has given rise to suggestion that Red Bull were rushed into Webber offering a contract extension, but Horner has insisted that it was the veteran's work throughout the year which had earned his new deal.

"The extension isn't based on one result, it's based on how he's been performing since the winter and it was entirely logical, as there was a clear desire to do so on both sides, to continue the relationship into next season."

Red Bull are the first team to confirm their line-up for next season - a stability which Horner believes will pay dividend in the imminent future.

"It's good to have it tied up pretty early because it takes out the uncertainty and allows the designers to start to focus on next year's cars - which they need to be thinking about very soon - and how to package it around the current drivers. Continuity is crucial, so continuing with both drivers for a fifth season is a very exciting prospect."

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