The future of Mark Webber has been one of the most hyped and discussed aspects in the Formula One world of late. Many feel he has grown tired of the Sebastian Vettel show at RedBull and will jump ship to partner Fernando Alonso at Ferrari next year. Whereas Webber is on a year to year basis with Redbull, Felipe Massa has a contract for the 2012 season in place at Ferrari. Though they were keen to pay off Kimi Räikkönen to get Alonso into the team for 2010, Webber is no Alonso, and in this new era of resource restriction paying Massa to leave early would be both costly and foolish. Despite these facts, fuel has been added to this absurd fire by the fact that Alonso hitched a ride on Webber’s sidepod back to pitlane at the end of last weekend’s German Grand Prix.
The image of friendly competition echoes the famous ride Nigel Mansell gave to Ayrton Senna after winning the 1991 British Grand Prix, but in no way highlights any sort of agreement between Webber and Alonso’s boys back in Maranello.
About the only connection between Webber and Alonso is that they are managed by the fiery and controversial Flavio Briatore. Choosing to stick by Briatore, disgraced and banned from the sport after the race fixing scandal in the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix, was a gutsy choice by both drivers, but Alonso and Webber are two drivers who don’t give a hoot about the outside world’s opinion of them.
Would they make good team mates? Possibly. Will it happen? Don’t count on it.