Mark Webber quits F1 to race for Porsche
Australian Formula One driver Mark Webber is to quit Red Bull Racing at the end of the current season after signing a long term racing contract for Porsche.
Webber’s deal with Porsche means he will be competing in the LMP1 sports prototype for the 2014 World Endurance Championship, including the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The move means Webber, a well-known Porsche admirer, will an end to his thirteen-year association with Formula One, where the 36-year-old has claimed nine race victories and 36 podiums.
“It’s an honour for me to join Porsche at its return to the top category in Le Mans and in the sports car World Endurance Championship. Porsche has written racing history as a manufacturer and stands for outstanding technology and performance at the highest level,” says Webber of his decision to join Porsche. “I’m very much looking forward to this new challenge after my time in Formula 1. Porsche will undoubtedly set itself very high goals. I can hardly wait to pilot one of the fastest sports cars in the world.”
Wolfgang Hatz, Board Member for Research and Development at Porsche AG, is equally delighted with the high-brow acquisition: “I’m very pleased to have secured Mark Webber for our LMP1 project as one of the best and most successful Formula 1 pilots of our time. Mark is without doubt one of the world’s best race drivers, he has experience at the Le Mans 24 hour race and on top of that he’s been a Porsche enthusiast for many years.”
Joining Mark Webber in the new LMP1 are the two long-standing Porsche works drivers Timo Bernhard and Romain Dumas as well as the ex-Formula 1 test driver Neel Jani. Bernhard and Dumas already joined forces in 2010 to bring home overall victory from the Le Mans 24 hour race. Webber has previous race history at Le mans, having competed there in 1998 and 1999 for Mercedes AMG.