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Mark Webber to leave F1 at the end of the season

Mark Webber

Red Bull Racing driver Mark Webber has announced that he will leave Formula one at the end of the 2013 season.

The 36-year-old Australian driver will be joining Porsche’s new sportscar program and racing Webber will be part of Porsche’s LMP1 program at Le Mans next year. Webber says he had options to stay in F1 but feels it is time for him to move on.

During his twelve years in Formula One, Webber has won nine grands prix, achieved 36 podiums, 11 pole positions and 15 fastest laps. He has also twice finished third in the World Championship.

Webber says it is an honour to race for Porsche, “Porsche has written racing history as a manufacturer and stands for outstanding performance and technology at the highest level. I’m very much looking forward to this new challenge after my time in Formula One. I can hardly wait to pilot one of the fastest sports cars in the world.”

Mark WebberThe tension between Webber and current Red Bull Racing team mate Sebastian Vettel is sure to have aided him in making his decision to move on. It has often reached boiling point and Webber has felt on a number of occasions that Vettel is protected and championed by Dr Helmut Marko. Most recently, Vettel ignored team orders not to overtake Webber at the Malaysian Grand Prix and consequently stole the race win from the Australian driver. He was furious and most will not be surprised that he no longer wants to stick around to partner Vettel.

Webber however says that he did consider staying with Red Bull but the big change regulation changes for next year, he felt it would be better to move on to new challenges in a new racing category where he believes his long term racing future lies.

He will now lead Porsche’s attempt to revive its glory at Le Mans where he will be part of Porsche’s LMP1 program next year. Porsche last won Le Mans LMP1 in 1998 but has 16 wins under the belt and are desperate to win again. Webber himself has raced twice at Le Mans before and previously said he would never return due to the danger involved but it seems that Porsche has been able to lure the Australian back.

We wish Mark the best of luck and we’ll be keeping an eye on him!

About Adele Groenendaal

Some say she's Murray Walker's illegitimate offspring. Others say she was a right wheel-gunner for the Lotus F1 team. All we know is Adele has high octane fuel running through her veins and Formula One is her passion. Follow Adele on Twitter @aprilrain500

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