Red Bull’s team boss has moved to ease speculation Mark Webber could be set to change teams at the end of 2012.
The 35-year-old Australian is now on only a one-year contract, triggering reports he has been lined up by Ferrari as a potential successor to the struggling Felipe Massa.
But subsequent speculation said Red Bull is in fact close to offering to extend Webber’s deal.
Team boss Christian Horner ridiculed the Ferrari rumours.
“I think it’s inevitable,” he is quoted by France’s L’Equipe. “Almost every driver in the paddock is supposed to be joining Fernando Alonso next season.
“We’re staying focused on ourselves. Mark is happy to be here, and we are happy to have him with us,” said Horner.
“When the time comes later this year, we will sit down and discuss the future with him, as we have done in previous seasons.
“Speculation like this is part of the business,” he insisted.
“Mark has driven very well in these first few races, finishing fourth four times. Of course we would like to see him on the podium but he has scored some very important points.
“He can do great things this year. I think with Sebastian (Vettel), they push each other — it’s also thanks to him (Webber) that Sebastian gives the very best of himself.
“There is a good dynamic between them and that’s exactly what we want,” Horner said.
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