Mark Webber is considering his future and it's looking unlikely that Jaguar will be unable to retain his services for next season. Webber is contracted to the team for 2005 but has a performance-related clause that gives him an option to leave.
Mark Webber is considering his future and it's looking unlikely that Jaguar will be unable to retain his services for next season. Webber is contracted to the team for 2005 but has a performance-related clause that gives him an option to leave. Reportedly Jaguar must be at least sixth in the championship standings to keep hold of the sought-after Australian -- currently it's ninth.
It's no secret that Williams is keen to sign Webber but Renault has a prior claim: Mark has a long-term contract with the team as boss Flavio Briatore is his manager.
"The performance clause kicks in around Budapest time," said Webber, according to The Guardian, about his situation with Jaguar. "Ultimately I am contracted to Renault for next year as Flavio is in control of what I do. I must consider what's best for me in the immediate future and what will be best for me over the next few years."
"I'm not 22 any more, I'm 27. That's not old, but I want to know how long it's going to take to make it. I have to think very carefully about my next move."
Williams will have at least one vacancy next year; Juan Pablo Montoya is leaving for McLaren, while Ralf Schumacher supposedly still undecided whether to stay or join Toyota. Jarno Trulli is the rumour mill's favourite to be in the firing line at Renault should Briatore pick up his option on Webber.
Jaguar's performance has been very disappointing this year and Webber has only scored three points so far. However, he fiercely defends the team and, although it might be a very slim chance, hasn't counted out staying. But things will need to improve drastically for that to happen.
"There is such good feeling in the team," he said. "I won't hear a word against those guys, because they have worked so hard. They've worked so hard and have nothing to show for it. But that's the harsh sport that we're in. It takes no prisoners. There is no rewind button. What happens, happens."
"I suppose it's not out of the question that I might stay but the fundamental issue is the question of reliability. We need the car to be bullet-proof."
Jaguar chief Tony Purnell admits that the performance has so far fallen way below expectations. "We're thoroughly disappointed with the season," he said in yesterday's press conference at Indianapolis. "We started with a very nice quick car, and we've been let down by a lot of small, small mistakes."