Webber laughs off retirement rumors

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Mark Webber has laughed off rumors that he may retire at the end of the season, telling WA Today that “it starts and stops with me.”

“It’s completely obvious that I’m not at the start of my career any more, but I’m also achieving some very good results. While I continue to do that and while I enjoy my work, I’ll continue.

“Whether I was born in 1976 or 1986 is irrelevant.”

The Australian driver has just one year left on his Red Bull contract, and as he continues to be outshone by teammate Sebastian Vettel, many believe he could be dropped by the team at the end of the season. Webber acknowledged Vettel’s immense talent, but he believes that he can match the three-time champion.

“Seb is obviously off the back on an incredible run and he’ll absolutely be a contender for the win. We know that. It’s completely obvious with how well he’s been driving.

“But there’s certainly no reason why I can’t put together a very good weekend as well, which is what we’ve seen with the testing so far. I’ve been very quick and very comparable, so that’s been good.”

Red Bull struggled in winter testing, finishing as the seventh quickest team, but Webber is feeling positive for his home race in one week’s time. It will be important for him to start the season strongly if he is to compete for the championship this year.

FIA returns Manor’s F1 entry fee for 2017

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Good news: Manor Grand Prix Racing Limited got a refund of an entry fee it paid to the FIA to run in this year’s F1 season.

Bad news: Manor still hasn’t run this year, and won’t be for the foreseeable future (especially as Manor’s former leadership staff is moving that team into FIA WEC’s new-look LMP1 class in addition to its LMP2 program).

Manor Group’s receivership outfit, Just Racing Services Limited, went into administration earlier this year. As there was no new buyer for the F1 team, Manor dropped from the 2017 grid before the season.

The FIA said it would return its entry fee to help Manor Group pay off outstanding debts.

It basically means nothing in the grand scheme of things since Manor missed out on 10th place in the constructor’s standings in 2016 and fell from the F1 grid as a result, but hey, it’s a goodwill gesture going into Thanksgiving this week.