Formula 1

Mark Webber's future at Red Bull is clouded, says Ecclestone

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F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone believes Mark Webber is unsure about his future at Red Bull as speculation links current Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen and Toro Rosso's Daniel Ricciardo to his seat for 2014.

The future of the 36-year-old was thrown into the doubt after the 'Multi-21' saga at the Malaysian Grand Prix, when Webber's triple world champion team-mate Sebastian Vettel ignored team orders to stay behind the Australian as the race entered it's final stint and proceeded to overtaker Webber after a very agressive battle between the two driver's.

Since that race speculation has run wild that Webber will leave Red Bull after this season because the relationship between himself and Vettel is now untenable.

Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner was again asked about Webber's future in Monaco, with the Briton suggesting the decision could be made by Webber himself.

"At the relevant time, we will sit down with Mark and see what he wants to do, what his plans are for the future," Horner told reporters on Thursday.

Now for the first time F1 Chief Executive Bernie Ecclestone, who is known as a good friend to Sebastian Vettel, has also added his say in relation to Webber's future.

"I don't think Webber knows if he will stay at Red Bull," the 82-year-old told Formula Money editor Christian Sylt.

One of the names being mentioned as a replacement for Webber is 2007 champion Kimi Raikkonen, the Finn this week admitted he has two options for 2014, although his most recent comments suggested one of those options is retirement.

"There is always the option that I will not drive (at all). It's always possible," Kimi told Brazil's Totalrace.

Lotus team owner Gerard Lopez agreed that F1 should take that possibility seriously.

"Knowing Kimi well, outside of the track too, he could just as well announce that he's stopping altogether," he said on Thursday.

"I wouldn't take any bets whatsoever," he added.

Away from Webber's future Ecclestone was also asked about the future of Red Bull in the sport, journalist Christian Sylt asked Ecclestone if it was possible a share deal could be done between Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz and team boss Christian Horner, similar to that between Peter Sauber and Monisha Kaltenborn.

"If Didi (Mateschitz) was going to sell I think he would look after Christian," said Ecclestone. "Christian and Adrian Newey have got long term contracts."

 

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