Red Bull’s Mark Webber to leave F1 for WEC and Le Mans for Porsche from 2014
Red Bull Racing’s 36 year old Australian Formula One driver, Mark Webber will not be competing in the 2014 Formula 1 season, as he heads to Porsche next season. With Porsche factory team, Mark Webber will compete in World Endurance Championship and Le Mans 24 Hours for 2014, and many more years to come.
This is not the first time that Mark will be racing in Le Mans, he already has participated twice. Apart from Le Mans, Mark has also been the runner-up at FIA GTChampionship twice. Mark Webber made his debut in Formula 1 back in 2002. Over the years, he has managed to secure 9 grand prix wins, 36 podium finish, and 11 pole position.
Speaking to the media, Mark said, “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. 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.”
At Porsche, Mark will be joined by Timo Bernhard, Romain Dumas and Neel Jani as the other drivers. In the last few years India has oft hear of Neel Jani, though a real meeting has been more difficult. Towards the end of 2011, his name was part of the i1 Supercar Series Driver Line-Up for Inaugural Season that wsa scheduled for 2012. The series was then postponed to 2013 citing reasons such as creating awareness in India about such a series. Of course no such activity has been seen till date, and we’re halfway through 2013.
Back in 2011, he also did what no other had done. The driver took on the world’s highest motorable road in the world, Khardung La, 18,380 feet above sea level. The Swiss Red Bull Racing driver of Indian origin drove a Formula One show car up there. Two weeks later, he was at the Buddh International Circuit (BIC) in his Red Bull Racing (RBR) F1 car to be the first racer to lap the circuit.
“I’m very pleased to have secured Mark Webber for our LMP1 project as one of the best and most successful Formula 1 drivers of our time,” said Wolfgang Hatz, Board Member for Research and Development at Porsche AG. “Mark is without doubt one of the world’s best race drivers, he has experience at the Le Mans 24 hours race, and on top of that he’s been a Porsche enthusiast for many years.”
“I learned to appreciate Mark’s qualities when we were both involved in Formula 1,” says Fritz Enzinger, Head of LMP1. “He is one of the best drivers I could imagine for our team. I’m absolutely delighted that we have such an experienced and fast regular driver on-board from 2014.”