One of the most fascinating aspects of the 'Who will fill Mark Webber's cockpit?' conundrum has been the back story; the jostling for position by teams and their principals, managers and headline sponsors.
It all kicked off, of course, with the Australian's late-June announcement that he would be switching to Porsche and endurance racing from 2014.
The timing wrong-footed Red Bull Racing, and there exists evidence to suggest that Webber, who at times felt surplus to requirements, kept the drinks company's head honcho Dietrich Mateschitz in the loop, but failed to grant team boss Christian Horner the same courtesy.
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South African-born Dieter trained as industrial engineer before holding down a variety of senior motor industry marketing and manufacturing positions. At the age of 40 he decided to follow his passion, and became the first and only South African journalist to cover Formula 1 regularly. Dieter joined AtlasF1 at the beginning of 2004 – a year prior to its merger with Autosport – and his regular column offers an intriguing analysis of F1’s politicking and commercial chicanery. Although now also proudly Belgian, he gives his domicile as "Wherever F1 duplicity lurks".@RacingLines More features by Dieter Rencken