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Newey keen on keeping Webber

ESPNF1 Staff
May 17, 2011 « Sutil faces assault charge | »
Adrian Newey: "He's been a pillar of the team from the start" © Sutton Images

Adrian Newey would like Mark Webber to stay on at Red Bull in 2012.

Webber is on a rolling year-by-year contract with the team and recently said that his future at the team depends on how he feels when the negotiations come around. Team principal Christian Horner added: "At this stage, it's certainly too early to be talking about the future. There will be a private discussion that we have with Mark and not something to be conducted through the media. When the time's right we will sit down and discuss it."

Webber has struggled to match team-mate Sebastian Vettel's pace so far in 2011, with team driver manager Helmut Marko admitting recently that Vettel and Lewis Hamilton would be a "fantasy" pairing. But Newey waved aside the speculation and is keen on keeping Webber.

"I'm hoping Mark continues next season," he told the Guardian. "Apart from being a great person, his contribution has been significant. He's been a pillar of the team from the start. Seb is very perceptive in his feedback in some regards and Mark is very perceptive in other areas. We listen to both and it helps the car."

Newey also revealed that the new Pirelli tyres have been a key reason behind Webber's struggle to match his team-mate this season.

"So far the gap between Sebastian and Mark has been bigger than last year," Newey said. "It's certainly not a case that Mark has been driving any slower - that's for sure. Mark's just taken a bit longer to adapt to the Pirelli tyres but the gap is closing."

On his own future, Newey revealed that he intends to spend the rest of his career at Red Bull and even Ferrari could not lure him away.

"They're a great team and just like many drivers end up succumbing to Ferrari's romance, engineers aren't completely callous. But I won't be going to Ferrari. One reason is that my family [with four children] is in England. And being involved with Red Bull from the start has been hugely rewarding. I have no desire to work for anyone else in F1."

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