Red Bull Racing F1 Team driver Mark Webber announced today that he will retire from Formula One after the 2013 season. The Aussie has signed a contract with Porsche that extends over several years and from the 2014 season he will compete in Porsche’s new LMP1 sports prototype at the Le Mans 24 Hours and in the sports car World Endurance Championship WEC.
“It’s an honour for me to join Porsche at its return to the top category in Le Mans and in the sports car World Endurance Championship and be part of the team. Porsche has written racing history as a manufacturer and stands for outstanding technology and performance at the highest level,” says Mark Webber. “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 pilot one of the fastest sports cars in the world.”
Porsche’s board member for research and development Wolfgang Hatz added : "I’m very pleased to have secured Mark Webber for our LMP1 project as one of the best and most successful Formula 1 pilots of our time. Mark is without doubt one of the world’s best race drivers, he has experience at the Le Mans 24 hour race and on top of that he’s been a Porsche enthusiast for many years."
Porsche LMP1 programme chief Fritz Enzinger added: "I learned to appreciate Mark’s qualities when we were both involved in Formula 1. He is one of the best pilots I could imagine for our team. I’m absolutely delighted that we have such an experienced and fast regular driver onboard from 2014."
With Webber now out of the picture at Red Bull in 2014, the team is now looking for a new driver to fill the vacant seat. Favourite to secure this highly wanted drive is Kimi Raikkonen.