Red Bull racer Mark Webber has announced he will end his Formula One career at the end of this season. The 36-year-old Australian will be working with Porsche on the LMP1 program from next season onwards.
Webber raced for the Red Bull team for seven of the twelve seasons, and described the collaboration with Porsche as a great honor.
“Porsche has written a racing history as a manufacturer and is synonymous with technology at its peak,” the Australian said. “I look forward to a new challenge at the end of my Formula One career. Porsche has set high goals, and I can't wait to drive one of the fastest sports cars in the world. ”
Webber made his Formula One debut with the Minardi team in 2002. Already in his first race, at home, he finished in fifth place and moved to Jaguar the following season. He raced there for two years and then switched to Williams for two years. In the 2007 season, he sat in a Red Bull race car, where he enjoyed the most successful period of his career. He has won nine races, but in recent seasons, the relationship with the employer has become increasingly strained. Rivalry with team rival Sebastian Vettl has served up a number of incidents, and in this year’s race for the Malaysian Grand Prix, the Australian was clearly overwhelmed. Vettel ignored orders from the team and stole the victory from Webber.
Vettel will stay with Red Bull at least until 2016, and now the search for his teammate is starting. At the top of the Red Bull leaders ’wish list is Kimi Raikkonen, whose contract with Lotus expires at the end of this season. Sebastian Vettel, otherwise a good friend of the Iceman, also wants a Finn. The 2007 season champion also wants Christian Horner, who said Raikkonen is "definitely a candidate if only he is available."
Toro Rossa racers Jean-Eric Vergne and Daniel Ricciardo are also candidates for Webber's seat, but according to Helmut Mark, they will have to prove themselves if they want to "advance" to Red Bull.
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