If you believe Dietrich Mateschitz, you can stop fantasizing about a Silly Season involving Mark Webber or his Red Bull seat.
The team’s owner says Webber “of course” will be back with the team.
“Of course Mark will stay on, no doubt about it. The whole ‘dream team’ – maybe that’s exaggerated, but I think it’s true – will remain together. They all got even more bound together by that success.
“I would say there is no one in the top levels of our team that had not received at least one offer from other teams. I do not know one who accepted this. Nobody let himself be tempted. I am sure this won’t change after having won two titles.
“One thing is for sure however: in 2011 we will be the hunted ones, not the hunters anymore.”
DM’s comments come as there is a whole slew of stories about how Webber and Sebastian Vettel have cleared the air. Webber has been quoted as saying that the fight between the two drove the team to its victories:
“It’s normal, when we have such an important thing at stake, that there are going to be times when it will be on the edge.
“And that’s part of the journey – that’s sport, that’s what happens. You have these micro-battles which happen. Of course the media can make it a lot bigger on Monday or Tuesday compared to what it was, and that’s something which we can’t control.
“But in the end it’s something that drove the team forward, maybe it fuelled the whole thing forward.
“Of course we lost some points with some of the rivalry getting too close, but in the end I think the team has collectively worked incredibly hard together, Sebastian and I have good respect for each other, and that’s the important thing – that you can still, at the end of all of that, shake hands, after the battles that we did all around the world.
“It’s not just us two on the track, people have to realise that, because there are different people trying to p*** on our fire as well, so we’ve got to think of the team as well.”
We also had the David Coulthard piece a day ago with the same storyline.
I have to think, bottom line, there is no better place for Webber to go. Being — arguably — the second driver at Red Bull is going to give him a better chance to win a championship than being the first driver just about any place else, and certainly a better chance than at any of the teams with an available seat. His task is to leap well out in front of Vettel early in 2011 so he can claim the “No. 1” spot (assuming there is some difference and that would give him a few advantages here and there).
Now, in 2012? That might be a different story.