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F1 News F1 news: Mark Webber reveals the real reason he REJECTED Ferrari deal to stay at Red Bull


Webber made his debut on the F1 grid back in 2001 when he made the step up from being an Arrows test driver to race with Benetton.

And over the course of the subsequent 11 years he became one of the sport’s most recognisable faces by taking in stints at Minardi, Jaguar, Williams and Red Bull.

Mark Webber’s best seasons came in 2010, 2011 and 2013, with third place finishes in the World Drivers’ Championship coming at the end of each of those campaigns respectively.

However, he has now revealed he might not have achieved those placings with Red Bull having had the opportunity to leave them for pit lane rivals Ferrari.

Webber negotiated a potential move to the Pracing Horse with then team principal Stefano Domenicali.

But the terms on offer, as well as Luca di Montezemolo and Flavio Briatore’s sparring, meant the switch never went through.

"No, no, actually I had a meeting with Stefano in Monte Carlo and we came pretty close to agreeing terms," Webber told Channel 4.

"I was very much actually looking forward to working with Stefano but I think it was actually the duration of the contract which was a bit of an issue for me.

"And also, at the time, Luca di Montezemolo, wanted me to go and see him in Italy and I had Flavio in my corner, so there was a little bit of arm wrestling going on.

"But, in the end, I would have definitely signed very quickly about a two-year fixed contract with Ferrari but it was options one-and-one. In the end I stayed at Red Bull."

Webber has moved into the world of punditry since laying down his helmet one last time in 2016 following a spell in endurance racing.

His countryman Daniel Ricciardo, who quit Red Bull for Renault ahead of the 2019 season, is now flying the flag for Australia in F1.

Motorsport expert Tony Jardine has offered his take on why Ricciardo decided to make the shock move during the offseason.

"He’s thought long and hard," Jardine exclusively told Express Sport, when asked why Ricciardo left Red Bull for Renault.

"[He] loves the Red Bull family, he’s had his seven wins, Monte Carlo [in 2018] was absolutely the highlight after what happened in the previous year when they messed up the pit-stop.

"Arguably the greatest over-taker in Formula 1, currently. But he just, internally, will be seeing Max Verstappen getting stronger and stronger and stronger – not necessarily getting the better treatment – but he knows that he’s a real talent.

"He knows that if he stayed on there, he’s going to take second billing, and it’s been incredibly hard for him.

"He had to shut everything off and on a nine-hour flight to the States, flying over the LA, he shut everything off and he thought about it and he made his decision.

"His decision was based on the fact that, although all the other doors had closed on him including Ferrari, that he would have the Renault team and the promise of all the resources.

"They’ve all been talking to him, Alain Prost and all these guys, saying: 'The engines going to be improved, the transmission, the aerodynamics'.

"He’s seen all of their plans and he’s bought into it with a team built round him for a change and he’s taken the drive.

"He’s getting paid a lot more money, because one of his big beefs at Red Bull is that he found out Verstappen was being paid way more than him."


Discussion about: F1 news: Mark Webber reveals the real reason he REJECTED Ferrari deal to stay at Red Bull
#2 he didn't reject Ferrari, it was a spat between Briatore and di Montezemolo that ultimately stopped the move going through. Or at least, that seems to be what I'm reading.

..and instead of playing second fiddle to Vettel, he'd have done the same with Alonso. Not much difference, really!
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I agree, Ferrari weren't exactly world beaters then anyway, Alonso managed to drag them up to championship contenders occasionally but I don't think anyone else could have done so.



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