Webber has first run in LMP1 Porsche

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Mark Webber has driven Porsche’s 2014 LMP1 contender for the first time at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve in Portugal.

Webber will race for the team in the World Endurance Championship next year following his departure from Red Bull. He will officially join the team on January 1st next year and thanked his former F1 team for allowing him to make an early start to his Porsche career.

“This is a major and important step for us all,” said Webber. “It allows me to integrate with the team quicker and to contribute to further developing the LMP1 race car.”

“We have a long way to go and it involves a lot of hard work. I have no misconceptions about this.”

The car ran in camoflaged bodywork as it has done in all of its tests so far.

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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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62 comments on “Webber has first run in LMP1 Porsche”

  1. I for one am very excited.
    3 Big teams hitting it out for le-mans, been a while since that happened.

    1. @bosley same ! I never really got interested in teh results of the race since I never followed a driver in teh series, but now that I do, I’m looking forward to a new experience as a fan aswell !

    2. Ryan Fairweather
      11th December 2013, 15:10

      Toyota will quit if they don’t win this year.

      1. Flying Lobster 27
        11th December 2013, 15:52

        I would have said that of 2013. I know Peugeot made a new car (the 908) and ran it only one year, but the manufacturer hit major trouble. I think Toyota will be in for another two years. The TS010 ran for two years, the TS020 (GT-One) did too, and the same goes for the TS030, as next year’s car is the TS040. Two years, then I think Toyota will turn their focus to the WRC.
        Amusingly, the last time we had more than two factory prototype teams at Le Mans was 1999, and two of the manufacturers present were… Audi and Toyota.

  2. One can only imagine how underwhelming it must be to switch from what is arguably the quickest race car of the year to this oddly-proportioned lump.

    1. @proesterchen Apples and oranges. ugly doesn’t equate to slow. and the RBR wasn’t exactly a model of beauty either. I don’t see your point

    2. What’s the point of having the fastest machinery on earth when you’re not allowed to drive it the way you want, Mark got tired of the post 2009 F1 era when drivers have to look after tyres,fuels …… he said that he want always to be flat out, the LMP1 car is not as fast as an F1 car but it is very very fast and Mark can actually race it like he want

      1. If Mark truly believed that, he must have been surprised to be told that WEC is all about getting that extra lap out of your tank of fuel and making tyres last 4 stints in Le Mans.

      2. David not Coulthard (@)
        11th December 2013, 12:44

        Mark got tired of the post 2009 F1

        Did you mean post-2010 (though if you were also referring to refuelling then very well, 2009)?

    3. David not Coulthard (@)
      11th December 2013, 12:42

      Yeah, so Jaguar’s years must be the better era for the Stewart F1 team than their championship-winnind era because their championship-winning years coincided with an era of awful-looking F1 cars:p

      The lights on the Porsche aren’t pretty, though.

    4. The Red Bull was hardly pretty.

    5. LMP1s aren’t that far off from F1 – in Silverstone they lapped only 8 secs slower and they have a higher min weight. If F1 cars and LMP1s would compete with the same weight they’d actually be faster or very very close, because aerodynamically with the closed wheels they are way more efficient.

    6. Over 300 miles, the LMS car will be quicker. No point driving the fastest car in the world if it’s only fast for 3 laps then you have to slow down for the tyres and fuel.

    7. @proesterchen

      oddly-proportioned lump

      Exactly how I’d describe post-2009 F1 cars. LMP1 cars are much more pleasing to my eye.

    8. Porsche now produce a whole range of oddly-proportioned lumps, and they’re back in the game to sell more of them.

  3. His helmet suggests that he’ll be retaining some form of link to Red Bull, similar to DC. It seems like his usual lid with all of the RBR sponsors other than red Bull taken off of it (Inifiniti and Co).

    1. Chris (@tophercheese21)
      11th December 2013, 11:40

      I think it’s because he’s still contracted to Red Bull. They just let him go for a test a bit early.

      1. @tophercheese21 it was explicitly said that Webber will remain a part of the Red bull family. So I fully expect him to compete with that helmet next year

        1. Thanks for that, I missed that news that he’d stay in the Red Bull stable. Makes sense though, he’s a popular guy and is a good ambassador for the brand and he has a longstanding relationship with the team.

    2. I can’t find it now, but I think I read somewhere that Webber was going to keep a personal sponsorship from Red Bull.

      Correct me if I’m wrong.

    3. @geemac In fact, if you look closely, it is the exact same helmet but with Infiniti and the other RBR sponsors covered rather than taken off!

      1. @deej92 Vettel used all of the helmet budget this year ;)!

      2. Yeah, I noticed that with the wings for Life logo at the front.

      3. @deej92, good pickup there!

  4. The car looks ok from the front or back, but ugly as sin from the side with that fin. Might not be quite as bad with the livery rather than camoflage. Never watched the series but i guess most of the teams’ cars have this feature.

    1. petebaldwin (@)
      11th December 2013, 11:40

      @keithedin – I don’t know much about WEC but it’s an F-Duct isn’t it? I assume all will have it if one does…

      1. @petebaldwin It isn’t an F-Duct, the fin is there as an aerodinamic device to stop the car from flipping when it goes out of control.

        1. I think they do have an F duct though. Think I remember them talking about it on th Toyota.

          1. F-duct’s are not legal in Le Mans racing.

            The fin has to be a flat piece of bodywork to prevent teams placing ducts or tubes inside & the spacer attaching it to the wing is made to an ACO spec.

          2. @jaymz @joao-pedro-cq the Audis do have a duct to the rear wing

          3. Are you sure? I don’t think they do. They certainly have an intake above the cockpit. Although it looks like it might feed into the fin I think it actually goes to the internals. The funny way the fin connects to the rear wing is for structural stability (see scarbs http://scarbsf1.com/blog1/2010/12/11/audi-r18-contemporary-lmp-tech/ who says in a comment that he doesn’t believe an F-duct is legal).

        2. Wonder how audi implement theirs. I’m not interested in le mans enough to read up on it.

          Always found it interesting how the FIA banned the F duct in it’s most advanced iteration which was on the McLaren, then took the idea for themselves to put on every car now If the form of DRS.

          1. I would not really call it the same idea!

            I wonder if with completely free regulations we would see F1 cars that are like transformers: Very efficient in the straight line, transforming into monsters with wings when braking.

        3. I doubt Webber is worried about the possibility of his car going airborne. That basically never happens.

          1. hahaha +1

    2. To me the front is the most egregious part of the car. Unfortunately, the much too wide front wheels (for the width of the car) force all competitors into building these toy-like cars.

      Also, whoever approved the second photo above for release, the one with the car against the cloudy sky shot from below, needs to get fired. There’s only one circumstance when seeing the sky under the floor a race car looks good, and that’s when Webber’s literally flying it, Merc/RBR-style.

    3. The livery gives me headaches! I’m sure the effect is better in video.

      1. The effect isn’t supposed to be better in any way, it’s a camouflage.

  5. Nothing funnier than seeing the few who have commented that clearly don’t follow sports car racing nearly as much as F1

    1. Well this is an F1 site, it’s to be expected. Other than Le Mans I don’t watch WEC at all, but I might follow Webber into watching it next season. It sounds a good bit more enticing than many aspects of F1 at the moment! I think I’m not alone in this, Webber is such a popular figure that WEC looks like it’ll be getting a few more fans next season.

      1. I gave the WEC a try at Silverstone this year and I’ve been hooked ever since. I’d firmly recommend you watch it. It’s the perfect remedy for anyone who has grown disenchanted with F1’s new gimmicky image. And with Nissan, Honda and Ferrari all looking into building prototypes, the future looks genuinely bright for Le Mans. That’s more than what we can say for F1.

        1. the future looks genuinely bright for Le Mans. That’s more than what we can say for F1

          Unfortunately considering the double points fiasco on top of everything else, I’d have to agree. From what you’ve said WEC definitely sounds like something I’d enjoy. Looking forward to giving it a go, thanks!

  6. Yes, the AIA finally got some interesting use!

  7. At least they have testing in WEC, maybe they are not so concerned about costs ….

    1. OmarR-Pepper (@)
      11th December 2013, 13:26

      @tifoso1989 or maybe those costs are not so big. But yes, testing is needed in F1 to level the field (I mean, restricted days for every team, as it’s now, but many more days during the year).

      1. testing is needed in F1 to level the field

        Testing would have the opposite effect as the teams who can afford to design, manufacturer & test more bits will quickly build an advantage over those who cannot.

        Its no coincidence that the field has been much closer since testing was banned in 2009.

  8. I feel nothing for Porsche but I will try to follow Mark as he’ll turn the endurance racing upside down not literally though, figuratively is better literally is used too often right Mark?

    1. He’s already turned endurance racing upside down.

      1. I see what you did there!

    2. I wouldn’t get too excited, one driver is far less likely to have a major impact as there is alot of drivers per race.

      I am not too sure who is partnering him.

      Audi are still the ones to beat but good luck to Porsche!

  9. Good luck Mark!
    So far I haven’t seen many closed wheels races except DTM at Moscow Raceway last August but now I will follow LMP series.

  10. Looks pretty gorgeous to me.
    I wonder how they apply a livery like that all over – it’s even on the mirror supports. Do they map the entire surface ( and inside the air intakes) and then produce vinyl pre-cut to size or do they cut and snip it into position as best they can and then hair-dryer it tight?
    Hope it goes well for Mark next season. Just as long as Porsche don’t beat Audi.

    1. It’s not livery, it’s camouflage. Usually it’s made of polyester instead of vinyl and it’s adhered to the body

      1. Ah, thanks. So if it’s poilyester, assuming it’s printed flat, how do they shape it over the curverd panels?

        1. I believe it’s flexible and they just “wrap” it on

          1. Hmm, interesting. When you use vinyls on a commercial vehicle for example, you place them onto the vehicle when wet and then slide them into position. You squeegee out the moisture from underneath and then use heat (via ‘hair dryers’) to shrink the vinyl into position over the curves. I wonder if this is how polyester works too.

  11. Is Webber still part of the Red Bull drivers group? or has he not updated his helmet yet to remove the logo?

    1. Webber will remain a Red Bull athlete but not part of a driver group or IRBR, just like Mitch Evans. That continued sponsorship is due to his great relationship with Dietrich Mateschitz.

  12. Looks a great track :P

    1. I rode a 400cc round it for a competition with work a few months ago! It is epic! And I’d never ridden a motorbike in my life before that!! haha.

  13. That car looks absolutely stunning, if a little dazzling from the side view (I know it’s an interim livery). I’m looking forward to following Wibbah, and the WEC in general, next year. No doubt he’ll do a great job.

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