Mark Webber Could Retire in 18 Months
Red Bull team advisor Helmut Marko has indicated that Australian Formula One driver Mark Webber could retire from the sport at the end of next year’s Formula One season.
Marko made the comments when asked about Daniel Ricciardo’s future at the team.
“As with the other Australian, (Webber) he is probably going to retire in 2012. We need to find one of our juniors who can replace him.” Marko said.
Marko also said that the Red Bull team wanted to see improvement from Ricciardo before offering him seat in either of the Red Bull or Torro Rosso cars.
“If he is doing well, yes he will get his chance,” he said.
“We wanted to see how he is performing in a Formula One car. At this stage he is losing too much in the pit stops, and losing too much when he is being lapped, so he must get the feeling.
“First of all he has to beat his team mate.”
And it seems as if Ricciardo was listening to Marko’s advice as he managed to beat home Vitantonio Liuzzi in the Hungarian Grand Prix last night, which was won by Jenson Button. Although Ricciardo finished four laps behind the leader, he did show promise and the fact that he was able to beat home Hispania’s number one driver will greatly please Marko and the rest of the Red Bull team.
While Ricciardo showed slight improvement, it was Button who dominated the slippery streets of the Hungarian Grand Prix.
The Brtion celebrated his 200th Grand Prix in style, taking the chequered flag ahead of Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso.
“It’s a great moment, all round a major weekend. For some reason I like these conditions,” Button said.
“It was a great call by us to go for the intermediate tyres and a great weekend for the team. We’re going into the break on a nice high, but every day we will be thinking about the next race in Spa.
“I felt at the end of the first stint the win was on. I was able to look after the tyres, and the car felt really good. It was a lot of fun racing with Lewis (Hamilton). It always is.”
Hamilton led for large chunks of the race, however a drive through penalty and strategic error on when to make his mandatory tyre change cost him any real shot at victory.
Sebastian Vettel maintained his lead in the overall drivers championship by finishing second. Vettel was able to win six of the first eight races this season, however he is now failed to get onto the top step of the podium at his last three races.
“Second is an important step, but the win was in reach and we didn’t get it. It’s been clear for a couple of races they’ve made a step forward and we need to come back,” Vettel said.
“I was struggling in the first stint on the intermediates, Lewis went a bit faster. In the last stint I had to let Jenson go. I did feel I had more speed in the car but I had a couple of problems with the brakes.”
Mark Webber maintained his record of not having finished outside the top five in a Grand Prix this year, finishing fifth.
Webber retains his second placing in the drivers’ championship, however the likes of Button, Hamilton and Fernando Alonso are closing the gap.
Formula One will now take its annual European summer break with the next race set down for the 28th of August in Belgium.