Red Bull F1 driver Mark Webber officially announced his retirement from Formula One at the conclusion of this season. He has already signed with Porsche to become an important part of their 2014 Le Mans LMP1 program, for which they have developed an all-new race car.
The 36-year old Aussie will compete in the new Porsche LMP1 sports prototype at the Le Mans 24 Hours and in the sports car World Endurance Championship WEC. So after 11 years in F1 and nine Grand Prix wins, Webber will try endurance racing for a change, which to be honest suits his big and strong physique anyway. He is no stranger to this field either. In 1998 Webber finished runner-up in the FIA GT Championship at the wheel of a sports prototype.
This announcement will also add fuel to the fire of recent rumors about Kimi Raikkonen pondering a move to Red Bull. Webber’s empty seat is not going to be very popular, mind you, seeing as all of Red Bull’s resources are focused first and foremost on their golden Seb Vettel.
Porsche is putting together a mighty team for their 2014 Le Mans comeback. Will they be able to relive the glory days of the 917? We have to wait and see.
“It’s an honour for me to join Porsche on its return to the top category at Le Mans and in the sports car World Endurance Championship and to be part of the team. Porsche has written racing history as a manufacturer and stands for outstanding technology and performance at the highest level,” said Mark.
“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 drive one of the fastest sports cars in the world.”