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SBD Global/July 11, 2012/People and Pop Culture

Red Bull Sets Driver Line-Up For '13

Australian F1 driver MARK WEBBER "ended speculation surrounding his future" by signing a new one-year contract with Red Bull Racing for '13, according to Ian Parkes of the London INDEPENDENT. Webber "had been linked with a move to Ferrari" next year, but the 35-year-old "opted to remain with Red Bull" for what will now be a seventh season. With teammate SEBASTIAN VETTEL already contracted to Red Bull until the end of '14, the U.K.-based marque is "the first team to confirm their '13 driver line-up" (PA, 7/10). Asked if '13 would be his last F1 season, Webber replied: "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" (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 7/11). REUTERS reported that Webber was "touted as a replacement" for Ferrari's FELIPE MASSA at the Italian glamor team, with the Brazilian out of contract at the end of the season and still chasing his first podium finish since '10. Webber's relationship with German teammate Vettel, 25, was also a factor even if "their pairing has not always been an easy one" (REUTERS, 7/11). Red Bull team principal CHRISTIAN HORNER said, "Mark performed outstanding in the first nine races of the season." Therefore, a contract extension was just a "logical decision" (DPA, 7/10).
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