Mark Webber expects his contract extension with Red Bull Racing to be sorted out in the very near future, even though he admits his new deal is not yet a formality.
The Australian met with Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz over the summer break to discuss his future plans, and also held further talks with team principal Christian Horner to talk about 2012. But despite matters moving in the right direction, Webber has said that nothing is finalized yet, although he thinks it's only now a matter of time.
"Not far away, mate," he said when asked about his future contractual situation. "Decisions will be made shortly so it should be pretty close to doing something."
Questioned about whether he believed it to be a formality, Webber said: "It will be cheeky for me to say yes. My decision has to be taken into account, although the team's decision is pretty clear. Obviously Dietrich has been great, as have all the boys and everyone at the team. All will become clear shortly."
Webber has been expanding his motor racing interests in recent years, with work on a GP3 team alongside Horner, and helping to look after the career of rising New Zealand driver Mitch Evans. He said that he has enjoyed these other activities, but does not see himself rushing to spend all his time on efforts outside of F1.
"It has been interesting doing a little bit of stuff with Mitch [Evans] this year, from an arm's distance," he said. "I have had my own things on, but I realize that if I am going to go down that path I need to keep my finger on the pulse a little bit with what is going through the middle and late ranks of motorsport to help those youngsters, and that would require a little element of interest and motivation into the politics side of things still.
"But I still enjoy it. I particularly have enjoyed watching Mitch this year. He has had a roller coaster year this year, but generally has been a very, very strong talent and that is something that is rewarding to go through.
"The GP3 operation is going well, so it is enjoyable – but I will not be immersing myself whenever that day comes. I still really enjoy the car, and there is a huge chance I will be racing in F1 next year...so that decision will come in a few years."