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Webber not ready to retire after 2012

ESPNF1 Staff
December 7, 2011 « Kobayashi feels stronger after season as lead driver | US Grand Prix remains on FIA's 2012 calendar »
Mark Webber: "Absolutely I can see myself going a bit longer" © Getty Images
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Mark Webber is not ruling out extending his year-by-year rolling contract with Red Bull beyond 2012.

Webber will start his sixth season at the team next year with speculation he will retire after the final round. Red Bull consultant Helmut Marko has hinted that one of the brand's junior drivers will fill his space, but Webber is not entering 2012 with retirement in mind.

"Yeah, absolutely I can see myself going a bit longer," he told the Daily Mail. "Helmut's been quite keen to do one-year contracts, and in a way it hasn't been too bad for me as well. That's been his starting point for the last three or four years. That's the way it's been, and as always it gets to the middle of the year, we sit down and have a chat about things."

After a difficult 2011 season, which yielded just one victory to team-mate Sebastian Vettel's 11, Webber is hoping for a more competitive season in 2012. However, he said his sights were not just set on beating Vettel.

"Obviously I don't just think about him, I think about everyone", he added. "McLaren are going to be strong. Ferrari are going to be strong, and we need to start well. "It's the fine margins. If you start to rack a few wins up then things change, as in 2010.

"It's very hard for everyone to get their head around how certain drivers might come back and others might lose their form. But this happens, it definitely happens, and you need to be there to capitalise."