Mark Webber says that his recently announced one-year contract extension with Red Bull Racing should not be considered an indicator that he’ll retire from Formula 1 at the end of next season.
The 36-year-old Australian considered a switch to Ferrari for 2013 before deciding to stay with the Milton Keynes-based team.
Webber and Red Bull have continued to deal in one-year contracts during recent seasons, rather than locking each other in to longer terms deals.
Writing in a column for the BBC website, Webber refuted suggestions he’s already planning for his retirement.
“Because I’m 36 this summer, people are always asking me when I’m going to retire. But I’m not thinking about that at all,” wrote Webber.
“The contract is just for one year, but I’m looking to stay in F1 for longer than that.
“You know you’re closer to the end (of his career) than the beginning, so you want to make the most of the situation you’re in.
“You try to do that bit more, you perform better because you’re that bit wiser and you get better results, so you end up staying longer anyway.
“It’s an immensely challenging job trying to get the best out of a Formula 1 car and I’m competing with the best drivers in the world.”
Webber emphasised that Red Bull’s recent success was the main reason for his decision against a switch to Ferrari, but added that the desire not to upset his 2012 title campaign was also a contributing factor.
“The fact that I am trying to win the championship this year was also a consideration,” he wrote.
“It would have been that bit harder to keep the momentum going if I was moving to a rival team. That was a factor, but it was certainly not the biggest one.”
The 2012 season continues with the German Grand Prix on July 22.