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Webber's future has been a source of constant speculation over the last few months, but Horner's recent comments are the biggest hint yet that an announcement is imminent. In an interview on Formula One's official website, Horner said on Saturday that he fully expects Webber to stay, despite a disagreement over the use of team orders at the British Grand Prix.
"We started talking a short time ago, so Silverstone had no effect on these talks," Horner told F1.com. "I always said that I expect our 2012 driver line-up to be the same. Obviously we haven't sat down and signed the contract, but ultimately I expect that to be a formality. I am very happy with the two drivers we have. They push each other hard and I can't imagine any other driver in our car, or Mark Webber in any other team's car next year."
Asked if Webber and Vettel are the strongest driver pairing on the grid, Horner said: "I think for us this is true. The dynamics between them tells us so. They push each other harder then perhaps some others, so we are very happy with that combination. They are now together in their third year and it is logical that we are looking to extend that."
Finland's Turun Sanomat reported on Monday that an extension of Webber's contract will be announced in Hungary next weekend.