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F1 leader Webber extends Red Bull stay

Mark Webber has been rewarded with a new contract by Red Bull after an impressive start to the 2010 season.
Mark Webber has been rewarded with a new contract by Red Bull after an impressive start to the 2010 season.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • F1 championship leader Mark Webber extends contract with Red Bull until 2011
  • Australian will team up with Sebastian Vettel for the third successive season
  • Webber won at Spain and Monaco in May and then finished third in Turkey
  • Red Bull are second in constructors' championship behind McLaren

(CNN) -- World championship leader Mark Webber will continue to drive for Red Bull in 2011 after extending his contract by one year, the Formula One team announced on Monday.

"It was an easy decision to remain with Red Bull Racing. I continue to feel very comfortable here," the 33-year-old told the Austrian-owned team's official Web site.

"I have a fantastic relationship with the whole team and the factory at Milton Keynes feels like home. It's been incredible to be part of the team as it's moved forward from a mid-field competitor to one that is challenging for the championship."

The Australian will partner 22-year-old Sebastian Vettel for the third season in a row at Red Bull, with the German also contracted until 2011.

The decision to retain Mark was straightforward. He is an important team member and is in the best form of his career
--Red Bull boss Christian Horner
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The pair controversially crashed at last month's Turkish Grand Prix when Vettel attempted to overtake Webber with 18 laps of the 58-lap race to go.

Vettel was forced to retire from the race, while pole-sitter Webber had to return to the pits for repairs to his car and consequently lost the lead.

"The team is extremely happy that the driver pairing of Mark and Sebastian will remain unchanged," team principal Christian Horner told the Red Bull Web site.

"The decision to retain Mark was very straightforward. He is an important member of our team and is currently in the best form of his career."

Webber, who joined Red Bull from Williams F1 in 2007, won back-to-back races at Spain and Monaco in May.

He also finished on the podium behind British duo Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button of McLaren in Istanbul, and is five points ahead of Button at the top of the drivers' standings.

The Red Bull duo have won three grands prix between them this season -- with Vettel triumphing in Malaysia -- and the team lies second behind McLaren in the constructors' championship with 12 races left to go.