“No (he was never an option). Kimi has committed himself to rallying, and he seems to be enjoying that environment. We have been happy with the job that Mark is doing, so why would you change?” said Horner in an interview with the reporters in Turkey.
Ever since Raikkonen switched to rallying at the beginning of this year, there have been constant rumors suggesting he'll return to F1 in 2011 to take Mark Webber's place. Those allegations were based on two things: Raikkonen's drive with Citroen Junior Team in the 2010 WRC is currently supported by Red Bull, and Mark Webber's contract expires at the end of this year.
However, something that no one was betting on was Mark Webber leading the F1 standings after 6 races. The 33-year old Aussie is yet to be beaten in both qualifying and race on European soil, a performance that put him back on top of Red Bull's list for the 2011 campaign. Asked about this prospect, Horner admitted a negotiation right now with Webber would last a few seconds.
“When we sit down and talk about it, it will be very straightforward. (...) It is the usual thing – if it is not broken, don't fix it. I think that it is clear where our intent is, it is clear where his intent is. It is just a matter of sorting out the paperwork with his management, but in the coming weeks I am sure that will be sorted,” said Horner.
He additionally confirmed that in case the negotiations will go according to plan, Webber's extension would be for one year, just like the one agreed upon last year.
“Obviously when a driver is approaching their mid-30s, it makes sense to take things one year at a time. He is certainly more than comfortable with that, as our we,” added the British manager.