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Motor Racing

Mark Webber remains coy over Red Bull future following Silverstone victory


Mark Webber yesterday maintained what he described as his "love affair" with Silverstone, and now it remains to be seen if Red Bull will continue to remain just as dear to his heart.

There can be no doubting Webber's desire to remain in Formula One after his triumph in the British Grand Prix, the ninth victory of his career, two of which have now been at Silverstone.

Webber confirmed on Thursday there is "a pretty decent chance" he will be in the sport in 2013, but gave no clues as to whether he will stay with Red Bull or move on to pastures new.

It is still not beyond the realms of possibility that Webber moves to Ferrari next year, a piece of gossip that refuses to go away.

Perhaps the onus is now on Red Bull and team principal Christian Horner to keep Webber bearing in mind the former has stated in previous years re-signing the latter would depend very much on his desire and motivation to carry on.

That is not even in question this year as Webber is firmly in the title hunt, closing the gap to Ferrari's Fernando Alonso to 13 points after he passed the Spaniard on lap 48 of 52 to take the lead and the win.

Webber insists the result makes no difference as to where he might drive next year, with the bottom line being simply that "it helps my situation to stay in Formula One."

Webber added: "At the start of the year I didn't have a contract, and now I'm pushing to get a contract for next year.

"It's going reasonably well, I've got a few points, a couple of wins, and I will work very hard to try and stay in Formula One next year."

After a miserable 2011 in which Webber was second best to team-mate Sebastian Vettel as the German comprehensively clinched back-to-back titles, he is again savouring the taste of success.

There can be no finer place than Silverstone and in front of a sell-out 125,500 crowd as was the case yesterday, it was virtually home away from home for the Australian bearing in mind he only lives 27 miles away in Buckinghamshire.

"All of us know how much we love hotels, so it's just good to be staying at home," said Webber after a victory he labelled as "very, very special".

"Whether you're a golfer, tennis player, racing driver, you have to enjoy or get the most out of every venue you race at.

"I love racing everywhere, but here it's extra special. I won my first race here in '96 in a Formula Ford, so the love affair continues."

With Vettel third it was the first time this season Red Bull have had both drivers on the podium, whilst Felipe Massa was fourth in his Ferrari for his best result since October 2010.

Ferrari and Lotus, who had Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean fifth and sixth, have now both overtaken McLaren in the constructors' championship, relegating them to fourth.

It was a dismal day for the Britons as Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button were eighth and 10th, whilst Force India's Paul di Resta only managed two laps after a lap-one incident.

Hamilton, 37 points behind Alonso, fears unless McLaren pick up the pace soon his title hopes will be crushed as he said: "We are still in the fight.

"But unless we find something it's going to be hard to stay in that fight.

"I raced my heart out as always, but we just struggled. We did not have enough speed in general."