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Webber unfazed by 'vultures' after seat

ESPN Staff
March 13, 2013 « Webber has Red Bull seat 'while he delivers' | Di Resta buoyed by 'best winter' at Force India »
Mark Webber is entering his 12th grand prix season this year © Infiniti Red Bull Racing
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Mark Webber says the "vultures" who are after his Red Bull seat do not faze him going in to the new season.

The retirements of Michael Schumacher and Pedro de la Rosa have left Webber as the oldest driver on the grid at the age of 36. With Red Bull's young driver programme designed to help develop the team's next driver via Toro Rosso, Webber's future has often been the centre of speculation as he now only signs one-year contracts. However, Webber says rumours he will be replaced at the team have been going on for years and that he is unaffected by the comments.

"I think it was Kimi (Raikkonen) who was supposed to replace me in 2009," Webber told Reuters. "It comes with the territory when you're in a top team and you're at the back end of your career. The vultures have been on the branches for the last three of four years, that's just the way it is. But there will be a day where I stop."

Webber said one way he could dampen speculation is by continuing to perform at a high level for Red Bull.

"I never ever expected that it would be such an interesting topic that I would be the oldest on the grid. I didn't even see it coming until the last few weeks. I don't feel the oldest on the grid. You feel you're the oldest on the grid if you're back on the grid getting blown away, but that's my job to make sure it doesn't happen."