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Mark Webber will sign new Red Bull deal, says team owner Dietrich Mateschitz

Red Bull’s Mark Webber will re-sign with the Milton Keynes-based team “for sure”, according to team owner Dietrich Mateschitz.


The Austrian billionaire, discussing the team orders row which erupted at Silverstone last weekend, exactly a year after Webber complained bitterly of being treated like a “No 2 driver”, appears to have ended any possibility of Lewis Hamilton moving from McLaren for 2012.

Webber, who was inching towards a one-year contract extension in the build-up to the British Grand Prix, was battling with team-mate Sebastian Vettel for second place in the final stages of the race when he was ordered to hold position behind the German.

The Australian initially ignored the team’s instructions, although it looked as if he backed off with a lap to go.

Mateschitz said Webber’s apparent insubordination, and his post-race comments in which he hit out at the team, would not affect contract negotiations.

“Mark Webber will re-sign with us,” Mateschitz told Autosport magazine. “This will happen for sure. He is very popular within the team, he feels very comfortable and it is an excellent relationship. He knows this and we know it.

“To be honest, Mark has no better choice than the fastest car and we have no better choice for a fast driver.”

The Red Bull owner also claimed he had no problem with Webber’s attempts to overtake Vettel.

“This is no problem for us,” Mateschitz said. “Sebastian realised that Fernando Alonso was gone and could not be caught anymore, so he backed down. This let Mark close in.

“He would be a very bad racer had he not tried to attack and gain a position.”

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner had already pretty much ruled out a move for Hamilton, saying he had “severe reservations” about how the Briton would work in partnership with Vettel.

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