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Rediff.com  » Sports » I'll be in Formula One next year: Webber

I'll be in Formula One next year: Webber

August 03, 2006 21:18 IST

Australian Mark Webber was confident he would find a new Formula One drive next season after Williams decided to replace him with Austrian Alexander Wurz for 2007.

"Everything's under control," he told a Hungarian Grand Prix news conference on Thursday.

"Obviously Flavio's looking after things at the moment. We've got a few plates spinning out there and we'll see how they come down."

The highly-rated 29-year-old is managed by Renault team boss Flavio Briatore, who is currently looking for a replacement for departing world champion Fernando Alonso.

Webber would be favourite for that seat if the world champions fail to secure Kimi Raikkonen from McLaren. The Finn is expected by most paddock insiders to move to Ferrari, either as Michael Schumacher's team mate or replacement.

The Australian has also been linked to Red Bull and, less plausibly, McLaren. He hinted that an offer is on the table and said he is comfortable with his position.

"It would be silly to walk away from Williams and not have anything, wouldn't it?," he said. "I am very, very relaxed. I'll be here next year.

"People might think it's a bit of a risk for us to leave the team but Flavio has rarely been wrong in his decisions," he added. "I'm confident we can get something better, otherwise I would have stayed there [at Williams] wouldn't I?"

Williams announced on Wednesday that test driver Wurz would be replacing Webber for 2007 alongside Germany's Nico Rosberg.

The British-based team had an option on Webber for the next two years but decided not to take it up by the end of July deadline.

"They weren't in a position to do that," said Webber, hinting that the increased pay package that went with the option was the sticking point for an independent team operating on a tight budget.

"We agreed that we would try to make it work even if they couldn't have come to an agreement with the original terms in place -- we would try and stay there and work a new deal.

"Still we couldn't [do a deal] and in the end Flavio said 'Okay, let's go on the market'."

 

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