Skip to main content

Webber to quit Formula One

June 27, 2013 -- Updated 1557 GMT (2357 HKT)
Mark Webber will leave Red Bull and Formula One at the end of the season.
Mark Webber will leave Red Bull and Formula One at the end of the season.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Mark Webber will quit Formula One at the end of the current season
  • Red Bull driver will join Porsche's new sportscar program
  • Webber has won nine grands prix and achieved 36 podium finishes
  • Endured difficult relationship with teammate and world champion Sebastian Vettel

(CNN) -- Mark Webber will quit Formula One at the end of the season after signing a deal with Porsche to race at Le Mans.

The Australian, who will turn 37 in August, made the announcement Thursday, ending speculation over his future at Red Bull.

Webber has won nine grands prix, achieved 36 podium finishes and secured 11 pole positions during his 12-year career.

But his fractious five-year relationship with teammate and triple world champion Sebastian Vettel meant that his future at Red Bull was always the subject of conjecture.

Read: Vettel apologizes

Only last March, the pair were involved in a public feud after Vettel ignored team orders and passed Webber to win the Malaysian Grand Prix.

CNN Greatest F1 Driver: Day Four
Mark Webber back in the go-kart
Lorenzo: Motorcycling is like dancing

The incident left Webber incandescent with rage and although the German offered an apology, he later said he would do the same thing again.

Webber, who is fifth in the championship title race going into Sunday's British Grand Prix at Silverstone, came close to winning the crown in 2010 before faltering in the final three races.

Webber had previously enjoyed spells at Minardi, Jaguar and Williams, before joining Red Bull.

He will now turn his attention to helping Porsche win its 17th Le Mans race -- a feat it has not achieved since 1998.

Read: Fuming Webber goes surfing to cool off

"It's an honor 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," said Webber in a statement on his website.

"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 pilot one of the fastest sports cars in the world."

Webber has already experienced the 24-hour race at Le Mans after racing there with Mercedes in 1998 and 1999.

His first attempt ended after just 19 laps, while he somehow escaped injury the following year after his car was tipped over while he drove at a speed of 200mph.

"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," Wolfgang Hatz, Board Member for Research and Development at Porsche AG said in a statement Thursday.

"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."

The race to replace Webber is expected to include 2007 world champion Kimi Raikkonen, who currently stars for Lotus, while Torro Rosso's Australian driver Dan Ricciardo could also be in the frame.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
March 15, 2014 -- Updated 0108 GMT (0908 HKT)
The big winners of this Formula One season could be road drivers rather than F1 racers, according to one former world champion.
March 14, 2014 -- Updated 1730 GMT (0130 HKT)
The Williams team welcomes the biggest rule changes to Formula One cars for a generation.
March 13, 2014 -- Updated 1916 GMT (0316 HKT)
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton sums up the dawn of a new Formula One era in three juicy words -- weird, mind-blowing and challenging.
March 12, 2014 -- Updated 1216 GMT (2016 HKT)
Formula One is taking another step in its techno evolution this season, which could be more unpredictable than it has been for a long time.
February 24, 2014 -- Updated 2255 GMT (0655 HKT)
Susie Wolff
Despite being a sport well into its seventh decade, only two women have ever driven in Formula 1 but Susie Wolff hopes to become the third.
February 24, 2014 -- Updated 1736 GMT (0136 HKT)
Jann Mardenborough on the similarities and differences between driving a race on a video game and driving a real F1 car.
February 22, 2014 -- Updated 1226 GMT (2026 HKT)
Russia's President Vladimir Putin watches the men's cross-country 4 x 10km relay event at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics on February 16, 2014. AFP PHOTO/ RIA-NOVOSTI/ POOL/ MIKHAIL KLIMENTYEV (Photo credit should read MIKHAIL KLIMENTYEV/AFP/Getty Images)
How Russian president Vladimir Putin helped turn a muddy hole in the ground into a $400 million futuristic grand prix track in Sochi.
February 21, 2014 -- Updated 0013 GMT (0813 HKT)
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin (R) and Formula One racing director Bernie Ecclestone talk during a ceremony of signing of an agreement to bring Formula One racing to Sochi for a Grand Prix Russia to be held in 2014, the same year the Black Sea resort hosts the Winter Olympics in Sochi on October 14, 2010. Putin, whose backing was crucial in Sochi winning the right to host the Games, is due in the city on Thursday to sign an agreement for work to begin on the construction of a new 200 million dollar circuit. AFP PHOTO/ ALEXANDER NEMENOV (Photo credit should read ALEXANDER NEMENOV/AFP/Getty Images)
Vilified by the the international community for his government's attitude on gay rights, Russian president Vladimir Putin has found an ally.
January 22, 2014 -- Updated 1217 GMT (2017 HKT)
CNN's Rosie Tomkins speaks to Caterham F1 owner Tony Fernandes on the team's driver line-up for 2014.
March 13, 2014 -- Updated 1613 GMT (0013 HKT)
Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel is bidding for a fifth consecutive drivers' championship in 2014.
He is Formula One's undisputed No. 1, and next season Sebastian Vettel will have proof of that fact emblazoned on his Red Bull.
December 4, 2013 -- Updated 1633 GMT (0033 HKT)
A new era of F1 looms large on the horizon in 2014, but what do the new rules mean for how we watch the sport? Get up to speed here.
October 17, 2013 -- Updated 1056 GMT (1856 HKT)
Explore our interactive of one of F1's most important and complicated pieces of kit.
ADVERTISEMENT