Webber announces shock retirement
Mark Webber has revealed that he will be hanging up the helmet on his racing career at the end of this year.
The news comes as something of a surprise just three years into Webber’s post-F1 career as an LMP1 sportscar driver with Porsche in the World Endurance Championship.
“Of course hanging up my professional racing helmet is a very big decision but I’ve been extremely fortunate to receive great counsel from two of the legends of our sport, Sir Jackie Stewart and Niki Lauda, about the timings of such a decision,” Webber revealed.
“The timing is right for me – you certainly view things a bit differently when you get a bit older and your priorities in life change. As with my F1 career, it’s nice to making the decision on my own terms.
“I’ve really, really enjoyed my time in the cockpit with Porsche and could never have envisaged having such a dynamic relationship with my two team-mates in the 919, Timo Bernhard and Brendon Hartley. It’s been a sensational three years and off the back of three consecutive wins, I’m hoping we can continue our good form and nish this year strongly.
“It’s an absolute honour for me to remain with Porsche and whether it’s at the track or away from it, I’m looking forward to putting my 26 years’ experience as a competitor to good use in my new role within the company.”
Webber will remain on board with Porsche as an ambassador.
With nine grands prix wins to his name, Webber is the most successful Australian Formula 1 driver never to have won the World Drivers’ Championship. He did go close, in 2010, but fell victim in the nal round to a combination of a strategy misstep and a faultless race from Red Bull team-mate Sebastian Vettel.
Instead, Webber ended up third in the championship, a feat he would repeat twice more before exiting F1.
In LMP1 sportscar racing, Webber was unlucky not to win the Le Mans 24 Hour in his rst year with Porsche. He was out of luck again last year, ended up in second place and part of a Porsche one-two.
While world championship success eluded him in his F1 career, he does leave the sport as a world champion, having clinched last year’s World Endurance Championship with teammates Bernhard and Hartley.