Webber made Porsche decision ‘quite a long time’ ago

2013 F1 season

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Mark Webber said he made his decision to leave F1 and join Porsche’s LMP1 sports car team “quite a long time” ago.

Speaking in the press conference ahead of the British Grand Prix Webber said the timing was “perfect” for him to switch categories.

“I’m very, very excited about my new chapter, new challenge ahead with one of the most famous, most well-respected brands in automotive and motor racing, Porsche,” said Webber. “It’s something which personally I’m very satisfied about taking on.”

“The decision has been there for quite a long time for me, actually, I’ve known for quite a while. Had a plan and stuck to it but still in the meantime respecting the profession that I have now at this level and focusing on achieving very, very strong results in my last season in Formula One.”

“It was about Porsche and Mark Webber today”

Webber denied the announcement had been made before his Red Bull team were aware of his plans: “I informed Christian [Horner] before the announcement which, contractually, I should do.”

“Porsche were very keen to make the announcement,” he added, “it was about Porsche and Mark Webber today.”

He said Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz had been aware of his plans for a long time: “Dietrich has been completely up to speed with my thinking in the last six to eight months.”

“Dietrich has been absolutely on board and on message with where I’ve been at. He certainly encouraged me not to rush my decision when I approached him earlier in the season. Basically all of the right channels and avenues we went through to get the message across as subtle as we could in terms of the announcement was done in the right way.”

Webber said F1’s impending rules change was one of several motivating factors in his decision: “There’s lots of reason that come in into the pot, I think, when any sportsman or woman comes to that point in their career when they want to call it a day. That’s another small ingredient.”

“There’s going to be big, big changes in the sport this year so I may as well go and do those big, big changes where my future’s going to be. Let’s see how the category is next year in Formula One

“I’ll be interested to watch every now and again and go from there and see these guys do their stuff.”

“It doesn’t change a huge amount”

Webber denied his decision will alter how he approaches the remainder of what is now his final F1 campaign: “Going forward for the rest of the season it doesn’t change a huge amount, to be honest.”

“Because I’ve known the decision, nothing changes from my approach now. Obviously now it’s out for everybody.

“But in terms of the last few races obviously challenging for the top steps and when you get everything right obviously we want to get wins as well. I don’t see that being a huge, huge difference.

“It’s in my interest to keep the motivation for up until Brazil and work hard with the guys. That’s important. At this level the effort that goes in to get the car out there, I’m fully respectful of that. I need to keep pushing for myself and the team because they put a lot of work in obviously at the factory, Milton Keynes, Renault everyone.”

Asked what his thoughts were on what his successor at Red Bull might experience next year, Webber said only: “I’ll watch with interest.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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49 comments on “Webber made Porsche decision ‘quite a long time’ ago”

  1. I can’t wait for Le Mans next year, Audi vs. Toyota vs. Porsche

    Check this out, my favourite moment of Mark’s f1 career, what a legend, how can you not love Mark!?


    1. I don’t understand how is Audi going to race against Porsche. I guess they’ll make a Peugeot and announce their official departure in 2015 right on top of the race, which should annoy Toyota just a little bit, but nothing should be loss you can just look at the Porsche and see how similar it is conceptually to the Audi.

  2. Around about Malaysia? :]

    1. Oh yeah 6-8 months fly by so fast. Owait

    2. Was Malaysia nearer to new years day than I remember?

    3. I rather think round about when Porsche announced their entry into LeMans and presented their definitive plans really

    4. If he was discussing that decision with Dietrich about six to eight months ago, that would be November 2012-January 2013.
      Given that the Malaysian GP was in late March, Webber seems to have decided to leave F1 at least two months before that race. It is possible that Webber might even have decided to retire from F1 in 2013 before the 2012 season was out given that the 2012 season ended in November.

  3. So RBR will sponsor Porshe next year? Dietrich Mateschitz is a smart and machiavellian man

    1. It seems likely that he will be having some support from them. Mateschitz likes Webber a lot, and they already have a good relationship with the VW group, sounds like a good idea to take the bulls to LeMans too.

      1. Mateschitz: “For sure Mark will remain part of the family. He will wear a Red Bull helmet also next year and beyond”. So it seems they could sponsor Porsche as well as Webber is indeed retaining that link.

        1. Though Buemi, in the Toyota, also had a Red Bull sponsorship, so it might not be huge, I guess it could indeed also be an opportunity to see Red Bull get real exposute in Le Mans.

          1. Buemi must be sad…

    2. Red Bull sponsor VW in rally racing already.

      1. … and Porsche is of course owned by VW…

        1. …and Audi is part of V.A.G. group as well. That means: Audi will leave LMP1 to make room for Porsche. We could see Audi in F1 in couple of years. I wouldn’t be surprised at all, their denial notwithstanding.

          1. We could see Audi in F1 in couple of years.

            HIGHLY unlikely given the very in-depth reporting of Dieter Rencken, who explained in excruciating detail why F1 wasn’t relevant to your Audis and your Porsches…

          2. F.Y.I. I’d rather die than be a V.A.Gs man. Sorry mate, but my middle name is G.M.

          3. I think we might rather see Audi go more towards the hybrid / electrical car route (or use their E-fuel / G-tron thing?) when VW gets a second team into winning form.
            That opens the options for Audi to be a tad less successfull for a couple of years while they develop something completely new

          4. The battle between 2 siblings is going ahead next year…suggested more manufacturers moving into WEC / Le Mans series. For example Renault Alpine has considered to field sport cars and Nissan is rolling out batman alike delta wing eletrical car.

    3. Traverse (@)
      27th June 2013, 21:40

      Dietrich Mateschitz is a smart and machiavellian man

      I know, don’t ya just love him! :)

  4. Sad to see him go, but I really want to see Kimi take his seat. That would make 2014 much more interesting.

    1. aaaaaaaaaaaaand the next Mark Weber at RBR is Kiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiimi Raikkonen. Goooooooooooood luck Kiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiimmmmmmmiiiiiii

  5. Doesn’t Mark Weber have an involvement with Daniel Ricciardo?

    1. No, none at all… apart from the accent.

      1. if this was reddit i’d give you an upvote

    2. jsw11984 (@jarred-walmsley)
      28th June 2013, 2:36

      No, its Mitch Evans , Mark’s his manager and mentor

  6. Best of luck to him. F1 is due for a big shakeup next year, but the WEC is stabilising in its new form, and I reckon its just about to have some exciting times with what will be Toyota’s 3rd year competing and the entry of Porsche into the LMP1 group, that’s 4/5 teams (depending on Privateer teams being present) racing each other. Im sure I wont be alone on this site, who will be watching Webber (and Porsches) adventure into LMP1 next year.

  7. You know who gets laid at the end of it all?

  8. I believe Mark Webber will remain connected too Red Bell via the GP3 team he runs for them MW Arden.

    1. Someone’s been playing a lot of BATracer recently?

  9. good for mark, good for porsche and sports cars. i’ve always liked webbo, and i’m happy to see him go to a contender that will permit him to succeed at the other “pinnacle” of motorsport.

  10. Reading some autosport stuff, really sums up that Webber is always out for himself above all else. I don’t fault him for that, though his single mindedness is his greatest weakness as a driver.

    1. whatever. you’d be praising that “single mindedness” if we were discussing Vettel.

      1. @joepa, like I said, I don’t fault him for it, I understand it, it is a trait that all the greats posses. Unfortunately, Mark isn’t a great, except in his own mind.

  11. If this goes indeed 6-8 months back in time then it would be normal to assume they (RBR) already have a second driver signed and we will find out after 6 months from the time the deal was concluded ?

    1. artificial racer
      27th June 2013, 20:48

      Seems quite possible it’s Kimi and was decided some time ago. Kimi has prior red bull contacts and seems very chummy with seb and Christian Horner.

      The STR guys might have a shot but that seems less likely.

  12. To be fair, its been just about the worst kept secret in F1 (although most secrets in F1 are). It was “announced” at the WEC Silverstone round (by Radio Le Mans, live at the track), only to then be VERY quickly rescinded, seemingly as people didnt want to make the announcements at that time (contract legality stuff I guess).
    All I can say is will look forward to seeing him racing at Silverstone next year after his graduation from the WEC feeder series also known as F1 ;)

  13. So…. Who will be the new “old guy” in the field after Webber leaves? Alonso? Button?

    1. Kimi? :)

    2. Traverse (@)
      27th June 2013, 21:46

      Probably Paul di Resta, he acts like a grumpy old man.

    3. Old is a relative term in this sense @f1rampage but yes in terms of age Button ;)

      1. @vettel1 Kimi is older than Button. And I just realized that for the first time in my life, I’ll be older than any driver on the grid :(

        1. @ironcito ah yes I misread the date’s of births, yes like Kimi ;)

  14. Hopefully this means Australia will get coverage of the WEC next year.

    1. We can only hope!

    2. Good Point! I hope so too.

    3. thatscienceguy
      29th June 2013, 0:56

      The WEC livestreams their races anyway. And if One aren’t prepared to put a minute of Le Mans on the tv, I seriously doubt they’ll start showing any of the regular season 6 hour races.

      Really not fussed about whether there’s any coverage, between the livestream and Radio Le Mans I’m quite happy with the situation as it stands.

  15. Knowing Webber’s luck, he might actually have a decent finish to the year! In the back of his mind he’ll be thinking “what am I doing?” ;)

    Anyway I’ll be keeping an eye out for WEC now on. Hope he has a good run.

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