Mark Webber has been assured of his place at Red Bull providing he continues to deliver for the team.
Not for the first time going into a new Formula One season, Webber is apparently facing the end of the road.
As a driver operating on a rolling one-year contract with Red Bull, and with the Australian turning 37 in August, there are many who doubt how long he can continue in the sport.
For his part, Webber has made it clear he still has the motivation to become a champion and firmly believes he has the support of the team to help him achieve such a goal.
Despite that, the speculation will always persist about Webber, in particular given the fact his teammate Sebastian Vettel has won the world title for the past three years.
Speaking to Press Association Sport, though, team principal Christian Horner said: “The last three years have apparently been Mark’s last.
“Yet he has been retained by the team because of what he has done in the car, and again the same rules apply this year.”
It was Red Bull adviser Helmut Marko who fuelled the debate about Webber earlier this year by questioning his mental strength and his consistency.
Asked whether Webber has it within him to deliver on a more regular basis, Horner added: “The difficulty for Mark is he is constantly judged against a young man in the other car who has achieved so much.
“What Seb’s done in 101 races, with 26 victories, being a three-time world champion, youngest points scorer, pole winner, race winner, is remarkable.
“Mark’s being constantly measured against a driver that is, in my view, the best of a generation and that makes it harder for him.
“But at the same time Mark measures the opportunity of being measured against the best,” Horner said.
“Above all, if we didn’t think he could still do it then we wouldn’t have taken him for another year with the team.”