When we were fab
Budapest 2016
Hungarian Grand Prix
Mark Webber retirement leaves door open at Red Bull
Red Bull Racing
XPB.cc
Posted By: James Allen  |  27 Jun 2013   |  6:35 pm GMT  |  387 comments

Mark Webber called time on his F1 career today, with the announcement that he is going to join Porsche in sportscar racing, for a crack at the Le Mans 24 hours.

The news comes as little surprise after the story had been rumoured for many months, with Webber never denying it. The path was clear after the Malaysian Grand Prix fallout in March with team mate Sebastian Vettel, where the German ovetook his team mate to win the race, despite team orders to the contrary.

Webber has also been critical of the direction F1 has taken lately, especially with the short life Pirelli tyres and sees this year as the ideal stepping off point, as F1 enters a new era with hybrid powertrains in 2014.

“I think, any sportsman or women comes to that time in their career where they want to call it a day. That’s another small ingredient: there’s going to be big, big changes in this sport next year, so I may as well go and do those big, big changes where my future is going to be.

“The timing is perfect for me. Very, very excited about my new chapter and the new challenge ahead. One of the most famous and most well-respected brands in automotive and motor racing in Porsche, so that’s something which personally I’m very satisfied about taking on. The decision has been there for quite a long time for me actually. So, I’ve known for quite a while, I’ve had a plan and I’ve stuck to it.”

“Dietrich (Mateschitz) has been completely up to speed with my thinking in the last six to eight months, so Dietrich has been absolutely on board and on message with where I’ve been at. He’s certainly encouraged me not to rush my decision when I approached him earlier in the season. I think basically all of the right channels and avenues that we went through to get the message across as subtly as we could in terms of the announcement was done in the right way.”

The news leaves a space alongside Vettel for next season in one of the best cars on the grid. Kimi Raikkonen is the favourite to fill it, but Red Bull also has two young drivers in Daniel Ricciardo and Jean Eric Vergne waiting for their turn. Neither has shown enough yet to justify the chance and with constructors’ championship points at a premium, the team will be looking for the most consistent performer available to fill Webber’s seat. His points after all, have helped Red Bull win the last three Constructors’ Championships. And that championship is the one that is linked to the prizemoney.

Webber is likely to drive with greater freedom in the remaining races, but if he finds himself in a situation where he is battling with Vettel it’s unlikely that he will feel obliged to play the team game, which would make for interesting viewing. Vettel will be mindful of that.

Featured News
MORE FROM Red Bull Racing
LATEST FROM THE RED BULL RACING COMMUNITY
Previous
Next
Share This:
Posted by:

Add comment

E-mail is already registered on the site. Please use the login form or enter another.

You entered an incorrect username or password

Sorry, you must be logged in to post a comment.

387 comments

by Oldest
by Best by Newest by Oldest
1

Webber remains pure class. Looking forward to Le Mans 2014.

2

Webber has been a great driver over many years and for a lot of them years in sub par equipment. Webber has been a great team player and without his help Red Bull wouldn't be the competitive car it is today. It is sad to see him leave F1 but I hope he goes to a team that gives him the best and not the second best as he currently gets out of Red Bull. Two more laps at Silverstone and he would have won the race and what happened to Vettel ?, he stuffed his gearbox. I agree with Mack B Mark Webber is pure class, and will remain the best driver to have never won the championship.

3

2014 in F1 will not be as exciting for me. The V6 engines surely don't thrill me. But my biggest disappoint will be not seeing Mark Webber drive.

There has been lots of talk about Mark not being as fast as Vettel. Maybe not. Maybe his age has clipped a 1/10th or 2 off his reflexes. And just maybe the 2 cars are speced differently to give an ever so slight edge to Vettel.

But whatever the case, in terms of class and character Vettel can't carry Webber's jock strap.

I will miss Mark immensely.

4

Yes. Pure class alright. Unlike that little Vettel twerp.

5

Who's the last 3X or more champion that was pure class?

Pure class = tears in a glass.

Pure twerp = to the championship others you usurp.

I'm a poet!

6
Scuderia McLaren

+1

7

Yes he absolutely does. Who in F1 is going to step into Webber's shoes? F1 needs a 'Webber' or two for sure. Here's human side of the job spec for any driver thinking of apply for the job!

1) Remain true to yourself as a person.

2) Do not be sucked in by the glamour.

3) Be as open and as honest with the fans and memdia as you can.

4) Do not suffer fools.

5) Be firm but fair on and off the track.

6) Speak your mind and shun the corporate drone image.

7) Recognise that integrity as a person is every bit as imprtant as race wins.

There are not many driver's who qualify are there?

8

Spot on.

9

Wayne, well-said. You've highlighted many of the qualities that make Mark Webber such an easy character to support and cheer on. RBR/F1's loss is absolutely Porsche's gain (though I understand that Red Bull drinks will continue to support Mark).

I was just listening to Gary Anderson on the BBC and he paints Webber's decision as brilliant, and it's hard to argue when analyzing the movement from Mark's position.

Cheers, Webbo!

10

Mark neither. How often has he used the media and the british dislike of Vettel to make it look like it wasn't his fault? He had every bit of opportunity to become WDC and just didn't cut it. Hope he does better at Porsche.

11

I would laugh and laugh and laugh if Massa goes to RBR.

12

Absolutely right!! Pure class, something Vettel never had and never will achieve! Porsche will fight for the podium on 2014!

13

...in LMP1, of course!

14
Scuderia McLaren

Now at least someone worthy (hopefully Kimi Raikkonen) can drive the best car (on average for half a decade!) and perhaps get better in the drivers championship than 4th, 3rd, 3rd, 6th, 5th* while Vettel gets 2nd, 1st, 1st, 1st, 1st*.

I'm surprised its taken MW this long to actually see the results and walk away. If it was Schumacher getting half a decade of these subpar results in the outright best equipment, the F1 world would have been calling for blood years before now.

Even Barrichello didn't waste the Ferrari's between 2000-2004 like Webber has the Red Bulls during 2009-2013. How one finishes 6th overall last year in a RBR is beyond me. In some ways, he's the antithesis to Fernando Alonso.

The hard fact that amazes me is, with almost half a decade worth of Grand Prix having the best car on average, he's not managed to get into double figure race wins! WTF! That's over 70 races with a car most would kill for. What a waste...

MW will never be able to claim he didn't have the opportunity to do great things in F1. He did an average job, got average results, which would be fine if he had average equipment and average opportunities.

*still running

15

You fail to recognise how good Vettel is. And that is from a non fan but showing some objectivity, which you have failed at.

16
Scuderia McLaren

I think I'm the only one showing objectivity. Quantitatively Webber is as I have discussed. His retirement of course pulls on the heart strings of many and reduces the academics of Webbers career to "Oh Mark, you will be missed. You were the greatest. You never had a good car. The world was against you." Utter crap. I am just putting in some evidence if his career and drawing conclusions that in fact he wasted more opportunities than not. He has cultivated a wonderful "Aussie battler" mentality, but in fact he's been spoiled with opportunity the likes of which only Schumacher has seen. He under performed quite significantly for half a decade with the odd gem race or two per season. That's it. Average considering his Newey designed super cars since 09.

17

Mark is not the best F1 driver I have seen and not one of my favourites, but he is at least a much better racing driver than your are in giving your one track mind opinion.

18

The term "glib interpretation" springs to mind.

You seem to be upset that the better driver in the better car wins.

19
Scuderia McLaren

"You seem to be upset that the better driver in the better car wins."

Absolutely not. I simply think Mark severely under performed his opportunities. I have nothing against Senna, Schumacher, Prost, Vettel, Fangio etc. They all often had the better car but did the car justice and much more.

I fail to spot a bigger opportunity in F1 (5yrs of dominant uninterrupted cars) given to a driver and so little achieved. Schumacher is the only other I can find, but he earned and built Ferrari to that point. Plus he executed his opportunities with 91 wins and 7WDC's plus almost took more that the equipment hardly deserved.

My reply to Luke above explains my veiw better.

20

Quite right. I no none of the teams which would deliberately give car that is not up to the expectation. It is simple and harsh. He is the only reason why SV got 3 titles in a row. There is no one out there to blame for.

21
John in San Diego

Cannot agree SM. Although Mark Webber has been apparently unable to extract as much as Vettel from the RB cars over the years, he has won several races for them, and, as James says, delivered significant WCC points for RB. Also, he picked up the pieces in 2010 when Vettel was having some issues, and nearly won the WDC, before Vettel finally came back and grabbed it. The comparison between Mark Webber and Rubens Barrichello doesn't stack up either. Rubens was a very good butler for Schumacher it is true, but Mark is his own man and a great racer. Someone who is a near WDC is definitely not average. Many fans will miss him in F1, me included.

22

And where exactly has MW claimed the crap you a writing? He's never said in anything I've seen or heard he "didn't have the opportunity to do great things". He's not even likely to say it in retirement, too much class. Calls a spade, a spade and deserves a bit of respect for winning 9 GP's. Luck didn't fall his way throughout his career, but you don't hear him whinging about it. There's no average drivers in F1, especially not in the top teams.

23

He tried and he failed, and he'd be the first to admit it. But does a 9 time GP winner deserve to have his name trashed as being not worthy of an RBR drive. If he wasn't worthy, they wouldn't have kept him.

I don't disagree with your facts, I disagree with your attitude towards a 9 time GP winner and someone with more integrity and character than most in F1.

So he didn't win a WDC like Coulthard, Montoya, Massa, Barrichello, Moss...all GP winners who didn't win championships. Are you going to trash them as well? Show a bit of respect for someone who climbed to the top despite his humble origin, height, weight and late start etc. You don't have to like him.

24
Scuderia McLaren

Correction: I meant to say, "But he earned it, he built his opportunities, so I would NOT call what Schumacher had as luck."

25
Scuderia McLaren

"Luck didn’t fall his way throughout his career..."

I'd say having been around to fall into half a decade of consistently having the best car is pretty lucky.

To my mind, only Schumacher enjoyed such uninterrupted car competitiveness for that long and look at what he did. But he earned it, he built his opportunities, so I would call what Schumacher had as luck.

Fact: Webber's trajectory crossed paths with Newey's dominant designs from 09-13.

Fact: That overlap was not worked for ala Schumacher Ferrari.

Fact: No other driver outside Schumacher had such an opportunity of five uninterrupted years of car dominance. Not Senna, Not Clark, Not Ptost.

Fact: 9 GP wins in over 70 races and 4,3,3,6,5 in the title chase is shameful considering the material

Summary: Webber was very lucky. Anyone who thinks luck didn't fall Webber way is deluded. The stars aligned to give MW five very good shots at a WDC. He won none of them. He came runner up in none of them.

Webber has had the most blessed opportunities second only to Schumacher who earned those opportunities. One has 9 wins, the other has 91!

26

This is a bit harsh. MW is a very good driver (maybe not the very best, but still damn good), it's just that he has not been able to adapt his driving style to make the most of the RB's trick exhausts/aerodynamics, i.e. drive against his natural instincts, like using the off-throttle exhaust (or cold-blown diffuser or whatever it is called) in medium corners.

When these trick elements are not so influential, he has shown his ability. Hence, why he has done well at Silverstone and Monaco. He is also one of the more 'precise' drivers and it is a pleasure to watch him in qualifying at these circuits. That I will definitely miss.

27

Very narrow and I'll informed views my friend. MW is not the best out there but is a dam fine gp racer. He's not been battling just anyone, but a clutch of world champions and race winners during the most competitive period of this sport. If he was as poor as you make out then RB would not have given him the car he has and the chiice to continue. Some objectivity would be good.

28

Subpar results? He's won Monaco twice, won Silverstone a couple of times and was well in the mix to win the 2011 WDC until the end of the season.

He's been a part of a team that has won the last 3 WCC's and is on track to take their 4th consecutive barring any major catastrophes.

Alonso's drive last year shows that a team cannot win the WCC with just one driver preforming, both have to be.

Webber did it the hard way, coming up from the back markers to the front of the grid. Do you really thing the owner of Red Bull would keep giving him a contract if he was just a subpar driver? No.

He's been at the pointy end for more of his time during Red Bull's supremacy and been instrumental in them being Constructor's championship.

Just because you don't win a WDC, doesn't mean you're an average driver....just ask Sir Stirling Moss.

29

And not just that, every year of his career until Vettel came along, Webber trounced each and every one of his team mates. He ended plenty of careers of his co-drivers purely because they could not get close.

30
Spinodontosaurus

>"How one finishes 6th overall last year in a RBR is beyond me."

Do you think it might be because the RB8 last year wasn't actually as good as people make it out to be? Same goes for the RB most seasons actually, with people making it out to be dominant when it hasn't been so since 2010.

He was, however, the second-top 'number 2' in the 2012 tables, behind only Button in the far faster McLaren.

31

If I believed that the two RBR drivers always had the same spec car, I would agree. But I don't, so I don't.

32

Yes

33

True SM

34
Tornillo Amarillo

Webber will remain obliged with Red Bull the remaining races in 2013 if from 2014 on he still be sponsored by Red Bull...

HULKENBERG is my candidate for replacing Webber... Note it was now said here first in JAonF1..! HULK will give the points and also wins.

35

Yes, hulk would want the drive after the bad move to sauber, but its time redbull took a driver from their own group. They won't keep funding 2 teams if one isn't giving the other the talent it should be.

I would like to see sutil get a decent car, he is fast and has drove very well this year and has only not got the points to outside factors. He would be a good weber'esq replacement. He takes f1 seriously and isn't typecast like 99% of the grid, he speaks his mind and will bring the media back to redbull as everyone has got bored reading about them winning. Hence why the redbull management kicks up a fuss all the time as to get attention. Kimi would up the media coverage too, but I don't think there are any other drivers who bring it like them.

Redbull don't need another PR driver, they need someone who will stand out.

36

Hulk might be the better option. My guess is that he and Raikonnen are very close in terms of results and not just speed and potential performance. Raikonnen has the only plus that he has done it before. He has been a world champion, so the risk with him is a tad lower. Other than that though both options seem great for RBR.

37

A lot of comments out there on how this will liberate Webber and turn him into a rogue threat to Vettel for the remainder of the season. These seem to ignore that with very few exceptions, Webber has struggled to keep Vettel within sight this year, let alone threaten him for position...

38

He can still take Vettel out when he is getting lapped. 😉

39

Webber has been Marko and Sebee's punching bag for the last three years. It was obvious RBR wanted Mark for another year because they knew Mark was "used to" being treated like a 2nd rate driver. This would allow Vettel to remain the star of the show.

The fact that DM knew a while ago whereas Horner got a call from Mark hours before the announcement, shows Mark's attitude to the RBR's (middle) management. He and everyone knows he hasn't been given a fair go. Good on him for getting one back at the team.

Any new driver who would not be compliant as Mark would destabilize Seb's mojo.

Having followed Webber's career since he started at Minardi, this comes as great news because it was quite disgusting how the team treated him. Now Mark gets to call the shots.

Really hoping for Kimi or Di Resta to take the 2nd seat and take the fight to Seb.

However, Dr Marko will most probably try to get another side kick for Sebastian. Kimi doesn't suit that role, so it may be indeed one of the RBR juniors. And it will only be a one year contract. That way, Marko can say "fall in line or you are out."

Mark has played a vital role in Seb's 3 WDC. Now he is gone, Seb will need to fend for himself. Unless of course Marko arranges another lackey for Seb.

40

You do know that Mark and Horner run a GP3 team together right?

41

Webber and Horner own a GP3 team together, so their relationship can't be that bad. Marko wanted to keep the previous STR drivers, but was overruled by the Dietrich Mateschitz, so why would he be able to block Kimi if the owner wants him?

42

I have no idea which plant you been watching F1 on, Webber never played a vital role in any of Seb's Championship. He even almost run into him in Brazil last year. Was no where in the picture in 2011 and fought against him in 2010. Webber is far from being Compliant, if you want to know what compliant is look at Massa the way he moves over for Alonso and blocks the rest of the field to protect his team leader if Mark was so unhappy with the team he would have left for Ferrari but he dint.And most of the people on this forum have no idea how racing works. This is not tour de france. The no 1 status in a team isnt a god given right you need to earn it. For eg if Massa keeps beating Alonso and reaches the last few races with the chance of fighting for the championship and Alonso is out of contention than he will automatically become no 1 for that year(it happened when Kimi had to play a supporting role for massa in 2008). If Webber were to beat consistently he would become no 1 in that team. Or for that matter any new teammate who comes and beats Vettel consistantly would automatically get no 1 status. This is a ruthless sport where the winner takes all. Vettel has won the right by his performance and not by politics as most people think. If there is another driver in Redbull who can kick his arse he will automatically become team leader and marko and the entire Redbull team will be behind that person. Webber's issue was that he was too cranky off the race track while on it his performance was 1/3th of that of Vettels' based on the results so far. By no means is Webber a no 2 driver he has beaten all his other teammates before Vettel(even Nico Rosberg who is giving Hamilton Nightmares) Vettel has beaten him for the last years years and by the look of things he will beat him again this year.

43

Sure he is favoured but its no more favoritism than what Alonso enjoys at Ferrari or Hamilton enjoyed in Malaysia where nico though faster was asked to hold stations behind him(dont buy the low fuel load crap Ross Brawn was peddling that was just bad PR if you dont believe me watch the race you'll see a team radio message to Rosberg saying you can push to the end while a earlier radios message to Hamilton already informed him he was running low on fuel)

The best drivers earn that right of favoritism because they perform consistently. Just like the best employee in an organization gets a bigger salary increase and a bigger bonus pay out. If a new driver does better than Vettel all that favoritism goes out of the window and the Vettel will have to fall in line or move out. Contrary to most of the opinion expressed here Redbull doesnt have funding issues i.e Vettel isnt a paying driver and doent have to bring in sponsorship and secondly Vettel isnt the owners son to enjoy perpetual patronage. Last i checked even Marko is an employee of Redbull and not the owner. Webber issue is that he wants equal treatment. You cant demand respect of your team and your team mate you need to earn it. Vettel won in a Torro Rosso a redbull clone but if i Remember right there were 3 other driver driving the same car did anyone of them win any race that year? He lead their title charge in 2009 and if it werent for car failures in Bahrain, Australia, Korea where he was leading he would have had another 75 points to his credit. 2011 and 2012 Vettel again beat Webber. This year too we see a similar trend.Can you seriously blame Vettel for being the favored son? The ratio of number of wins between them is like 3 to 1. People are fast to condemn the way Webber is treated at Redbull but if those very same people had two options to either invest in a scheme that gives one time returns or another scheme which gives three times returns with the same risk involved, its a no brainer where the money is going to end up. With the millions being poured into development each year Redbull needs to get their moneys worth. They will support any driver that brings in the bacon even if that driver turns out to be Verne, Ricardo or Kimi. Like every sport you either perform or you perish. There is no driver loyalty and your past success cant secure your future(Micheal's retirement from Ferrari)The system is ruthless but its fair.

Its hard to argue if Vettel had Lewis or Alonso the results would be any different. It is like saying if Alonso were at Mclaren in 2008 maybe he would have been World champion instead of Hamilton. Lewis is fast but not consistent last year over the 60% of the season Mclaren had the fastest car. All three Vettel, Hamilton and Alonso had their fair of bad luck retirements and yet only Vettel and Alonso managed to end up in brazil as the title contenders. Hamilton even finish in 2011 43 points behind Button. I like Hamilton as a driver because he has raw pace and flashes of brilliance what i am concerned is that he is too distracted by things happening off track and lacks the focus of Vettel and Alonso. Alonso is another beast, qualification may not be his best forte but come racing day he becomes nearly invincible. Alonso also prefers weaker and submissive teammates as that gives him a realistic chance of being a Champion and Makes him look very good. That is why until he is at Ferrari neither Vettel or Hamilton will be his teammate. Last year Ferrari had a car that is much like this years Lotus which struggled in qualification but managed its tyres better than Redbull and Mclaren in the race. Alonso was raised to the level of a demi god who could make a car that was 1 to 1.5 seconds slower into a race winning one. If so why isnt he leading this years championship i mean this car was class of the field in China and in Span.

Kimi was fast and consistent but lost focus after winning his WDC. He then had to settle for no 2 status in 2008 even costing him his job. But we are seeing a newer and more improved version of Kimi after returning with lotus. He has been more consistent and impressive but hasn't had the car to show how good he is. I would relish the opportunity to see him at Redbull. Will he beat Vettel at Redbull? Only time will tell. Its like the Rosberg/Hamilton saga. Its hard to predict who will come on top. Ironically if Vettel does beat Kimi, I am sure that we will hear people say Vettel is being unfairly supported by Redbull.

44

Finally, someone with sense.

45

Are you denying the favoritism shown towards Sebastian by Christian and Marko (in particular)?

I am not a Sebee fan, but he is, without question, the fastest driver on the F1 grid. Lewis is fast but he is erratic. Alonso is complete but not as fast. Seb's 3 WDC is testament to his race craft and speed.

Mark is not as quick as Seb is, I agree. And it is this very fact that he "indirectly" played a role. Put Lewis or Kimi in that seat and Seb would have one or two less WDC's.

Yes Mark and Christian own a GP3 team.

But plenty of times I have heard Christian lay blame on Mark, but never on Sebee despite it being Seb's fault. I am thinking Mark is regretting that particular business venture.

And don't get me started on how RBR/STR team treats their junior drivers.

46

Correct, Only once has Webber been there-abouts & look how that turned out.

47

If the Mclaren line up is to remain unchanged for 2014 then I'd put money on Di Resta being Vettel's no 2 !!!!

(and i'm not a betting man)

48

it's a good job you're not a betting man, you'd be skint!

49

Two chances- buckleys & none. He is no better than RBR juniors DR OR JEV & certainly not a Raikkonen- why would RBR bother.

50

Not saying he should or shouldn't get the drive. Just stating facts;

In 2006, di Resta and Vettel were in the same F3 team.

di Resta had 5 pole positions. Vettel had 1.

di Resta had 5 wins. Vettel had 4.

di Resta was Champion. Vettel was 2nd.

51

There's another poster called Goferet-You & him would get along fine. Every post is about stats and coincidences- drivers fav colours, routines, what breakfast cereal each driver likes, what coincidences happen to each driver. Try thinking anout what IS and Is NOT.

52

The same F3 team. So what? It's F3.

53
tom in adelaide

Whilst I respect your opinion, it truly, deeply baffles me.

DiResta should be driving a delivery Van...

55

He would still complain too much about that. He needs to be self employed. He's a PR timebomb.

56

"He would still complain too much about that. He needs to be self employed. He’s a PR timebomb." <---- THIS! LMFAO! hehe.

57

You guys are unfair. It's di Resta's voice that makes him sound a lot more whiny than what he probably intends.

58

Would be interested why you think so

59

Maybe because of F3 in 2006?

di Resta and Vettel were in the same team.

di Resta had 5 pole positions. Vettel had 1.

di Resta had 5 wins. Vettel had 4.

di Resta was Champion. Vettel was 2nd.

Not saying it will happen, but those are the facts re di Resta vs Vettel in same team.

60
Pete_from_Nepal

diResta has said those things quite often, and those are hard facts.

But I think F1 is a different beast to F3000. I've been surprised at how many of my not so smart friends in high school ended up doing 2 masters/phD's at great universities compared to those who were in the smart bunch. Not saying its common, but I doubt many analysts in F1 really think diResta is currently faster.

I think he's a hard-working lad who keeps his head down and puts in the hours. Unfortunately he lacks the outright charisma as a superstar, may be he lacks humility, but he certainly lacks the decency to not blame the team when things go wrong.

Is he fast? Certainly! Was he faster than Vettel? Most certainly! But the process of a driver is to change, mature and grow, and I think Vettel has at least had the opportunity to do that. Sadly for diResta, less so.

61

Wow!!!

Interesting stats...

Vettel has had a very lucky professional F1 career then.

62

Dude, DiResta is not going to any top team. He's too old to be considered an up an coming driver like Hulk.

63

Age has nothing to do with it. Di Resta is just not F1 quality.

64

Spot on!! Overrated DiResta overrated in the extreme!!

65

What, the Hulk who is, at 25, only 2yrs younger than Di Resta? He's hardly an up and coming driver now age wise...

66

Well the best of luck to Mark. I can´t figure out how the rest of the season will be for RB. Porsche is a very good car. They were great this past weekend at Le Mans. So it looks like a good place to be.

67

But Porsche won the GTE Pro and AM categories in Le Mans this year. So I guess they are in the right direction. Although Audi and Toyota were the best teams in the LMP1 that doesn´t mean Porsche won´t fight with them

68

How would you know, they've only just started testing the car and its yet to be seen if the new rules will give parity between petrol and diesel next year.

69

Mark's going to be driving LMP1. So we have no idea how the car he drives next year will be because no one has seen it on track yet other than a few camouflaged promo/spy pictures.

70

Question: is Vettel going to be consulted about who his team-mate is going to be?

And if so... who would be more attractive to him..?

71

Vettel himself told geman media that it's a team decision and he doesn't expect do be asked.

But that were he to be asked, he would like Kimi, because he's quick and they get along fine.

72

not a cat in hells chance that kimi will go. no way kimi would be a 2nd driver to anyone.

who would you pick?

most of the current drivers are rubbish.

add take a chance with grosjean.

redbull team boss just said, he has had loads of texts from drivers.

73

'Who would be more attractive to him?'

That sounds like a good way to start all kinds of rumours 😉

75

A good looking woman would be attractive to him, as for a team mate I would say anyone slower than him.. I dont think he would be exited about Kimi.. someone who could possibly beat him.

76

Terrible shame to lose such a classy guy from the F1 paddock, but it had to happen some day, wonder if he regrets not going to Ferrari for a year.

Any chance they will start giving Ricciardo and JEV time in the RB car in practice sessions to compare them?

77

He's done well. Very well. But he will always regret South Korea 2010. If not for that momentary lapse of concentration he would have been WC in 2010.

78

Ok if it wasn't for a spark plug failure whilst leading at Bahrain, a brake failure whilst leading at Australia, race with a cracked chassis for 2 races at Spain and Monaco, an engine failure whilst leading at Korea then Vettel would have walked the championship.

79

Yes... He was *VERY* classy when his teammate was Pizonnia.

80

Ferrari wouldn't sign him as he wouldn't move over for Alonso like Massa does, besides he'd distabalise Fernando with his speed.

81

Some guys are having a hard time to sleep with the possibility of having Kimi alongside Vettel. Also, it seems ALO is a fixed idea... Funny!!!

82

Ferrari did want to last year though

83

Not true - remember they pushed hard for him to come across last year but at the time Ferrari looked poor and Webber was leading the championship with RedBull so decided to sign for another year with them.

I would imagine if last year he was in the same position he is today he would have signed with Ferrari.

84

Ferrari's next propbable would be Bianchi (if Massa is leaving) till Alonso retires.

85

Ferrari refused to put Checo in their car, despite his speed, despite him being a Farrari academy driver, because they thought he was too inexperienced. Do you really think Bianchi is seriously being considered for next year?

86

Mark Webber should have made this decision 3 years ago. The strains within the team, his outspoken nature and constant complaining didn;t do a great deal of good for RBR nor him. I wish him all the best, and hope he succeeds in WEC.

This simplifies Ferrari's decision. Massa is most certainly lose his drive at the end of this year. So Adrian Sutil is will be the most natural replacement without Mark Webber in the picture.

87

Poor Massa... everyone ALWAYS knows he is on the way out.

88

What about Hulkenberg?

89

That's just silly talk. He has won nine GPs, and many podiums and helped RBR to 4 titles- Even Seb has said they will never be friends but has tremendous respect for him as a racer and his professionalism within the team. Only a handful if drivers achieve that and fewer again survive the sport for 14 years

90

When did Vettel ever show Mark Webber any respect?

91
tom in adelaide

He won some pretty iconic races, made some great passes and earned a lot of money. I'd say he made some pretty good choices. Not everyone gets to win the WDC.

At the end of the day Seb was better at driving a car around a track fast. There's more to life than that though.

92

Welll said!

93

Shame to see him leaving f1. Brilliant driver and a shame 2010 didnt end up being his time. Good luck next year, and hopefully he can win a race or two before he goes!

94

Great move, I fully support his desicion..

He will never get the same treatement at Red Bull..

But at Porsche LMP1 he will be their man!!

Go Mark!

95

In LMP1 its more than just raw pace of a driver, Toyota hired 3 of the fastest ex F1 drivers they could and they looked distinctly average, Webber himself drove the Mercedes CLK GTR which was the fastest car at Le Mans in 1999 and yet in the race they looked average before his accident, technically the LMP1 class is not the pinnacle compared to F1 as Toyota and Peugeot showed when they just walk into it and develop a car that can challenge Audi straight away yet if they were in F1 they couldn't win a race to save their life within a decade, it won't be plain sailing for Webber and Porsche but I wish them the best.

96

Webber's two crashes at Le Mans were in practice; Dumbreck crashed in the race.

97

Mark webber drove the Mercedes CLR not the earlier CLK GTR, The CLR was not the success that the CLK was, in fact it was withdrawn because of very bad instablity due to poor aero. When has Toyota and Puegoet challenged Audi's dominance in LMP1, have you been watching the last 10 years of endurance racing ?. Mark Webber will do just fine in new Porsche team, he has had success in endurance racing previously, It's not like he's been a failure in F1, most drivers never get to the podium let alone win as many races as Mark, He just was never going to get the rub of the green while Vettle was in the same team. Good luck to him.

98

You're right I was wrongly referring to the 1998 car but saying that I think the CLR was actually quicker though, shape of the car was very streamlined and made the BMW and Audi's that year look primitive indeed , only the Toyota GT1 looked capable of challenging it so it was a surprise BMW won the race with that car they had. But you're wrong in saying he never got the rub of the green at RBR though he had his chance and was treated more than fair by the team but the problem was that Vettel is just plain better than him, end of.

99

Hopefully Kimi is the sort of driver his fans think he is and doesnt chicken out of the Red Bull drive in the last minute. He has an offer on the table judging by what he said today about his options for next year. And Vettel isnt about to veto him or said offer wouldnt exist in the first place, so the ball is in Kimis court now ! IMO he has more to prove, considering he has enjoyed Newey designed cars for 5 years without a championship and has a patchy track record with various team mates, esp. Heidfeld, Coulthard and Massa. I really hope Vettel gets the chance to go head to head with another WDC and out of Kimi or Hamilton preferentially its Kimi (Vettel/Alonso might come later at Ferrari). Partially due to his laid back attitude which is more compatible with Vettel compared to Hamiltons unfounded bigheadedness and imo Hamilton would be a much bigger threat in qualifying. And if it has to be a TR Junior i hope its Vergne as a Vettel/Ricciardo partnership would feel too similar to what we have now with Vettel/Webber.

100

I disagree about JEV being the better candidate than DR. JEV has had a great couple of races recently, but over the past two seasons I think DR has largely performed better. And while some people say he has more F1 experience courtesy of the half season at HRT, that car was so off the pace he would have learnt more in GP2.

Having said that, I don't think DR (or JEV) are ready for a main Red Bull driver.

I'd like to see DR take Kimi's drive, Sutil replace Grosjean and Hulkenberg replace Massa.

101

Ricciardo is just the same as Webber, lacks that killer instinct required to dominate whereas JEV appears much more suited.

102

As a Kimi fan I have a tough time with this. Lotus has been great to/for him. However, with huge rule changes for next year it might be a good time to switch since all drivers will be learning to deal with the new turbos as well as the new aero designs. If Kimi thinks Lotus can keep up then stay, but if not run to RB now Kimi.

103

No James Allison. So he might go. Should in my opinion

104

Good point!

105
Valentino from montreal

Let's see if Vettel is well indeed the NEXT Schumacher when Raikkonen drives the sister car next season !

The down-side is if Vettel proves to be faster than the Iceman , the anti-Vettel ,

Pro-Fernando , Pro-Hollywood fans will say that Kimi is'nt a reference becuase he was beaten by Massa at Ferrari ...

Whatever the case , Vettel and Raikkone will be the strongest driver pairing in ALL of Formula-One ...

Vettel + Raikkonen = Schumacher + Hakkinen

106

@ Valentino From Montreal

Do not worry mate. As pro vettel fan you have made so many assumptions here.

Kimi is much better racer and he will wipe the floor with vettel with the absence of helmut marko

As for as Alonso and Lewis they will trash vettel in a same car

107

Love the way you dismiss his opinion, then state as pure fact the ASSUMPTION that Lewis, Fernando and Kimi would trash Seb in the same team, as if it can be anything other than an opinion or supposition at this point.

I see the Vettel detractors (I'll use the nice word) already have the excuse ready for if Seb comes out on top, nasty Marko will be responsible, or as he said, Kimis indifferent 2008 will be brought out.

108

Interesting thoughts, about driver/team-mate comparisons, however don't expect things to be so black & white... if they were, people would now surmise that Rosberg is a faster driver than Hamilton and therefore, Hamilton was about equal to Schumi (at the latter's twilight years, not his best). A rude point to make, at best.

109

HAM vs ROS: half a season (not even that)

RAI vs MAS: two seasons and a half

ALO vs MAS: three seasons and a half (almost)

HAM vs ALO: one year

Quite a difference there. And ROS is NOT beating HAM. On the other hand, RAI vs MAS during two and a half years is more than enough to make conclusions. And this are that, with a good and easy car to drive, there is not much to choose on pure speed between the two (balanced towards MAS in quail). Of course RAI more consistent in the races, and in general. And probably a bit better in wet conditions.

On ALO vs MAS side, more than enough time too. ALO's pure speed is on another level compared to MAS's in a good and easy car to drive (e.g. 2010), in a very difficult one (e.g. 2012), both in the wet and in the dry, and both in quali and the race.

And yes, with this basis one can conclude ALO is better than RAI. To negate this, one has to add into the equation speculations, as MAS's accident massively hampering him, which have not solid foundations.

Then we have HAM vs ALO. One year falls a bit short for a complete comparison, even more when one of the drivers is at war with his own team and undergoes a major tyre change (Michelin to Bridgestone) that took a complete year for others to adapt (Kubica and yes, Kimi, who as ALO had problems qualifying with the softer tires), and the other driver is a semi-rookie (I say semi because he had plenty of km with Mclaren under his belt before starting the season, and he was not particularly young). Apparently there was not much to choose on pure performance in quail, with ALO a bit ahead on race performance. Since then, both drivers praise each other, and both think the other is the best (apart of themselves, of course).

Again, can we conclude HAM is better than RAI? Yes, performance wise it's clear he is, although he has had some troublesome years and has to better his consistency. Can we conclude ROS is better than RAI, and not far away of HAM? Well, we need more time, but he is starting to consolidate himself as a bloody good driver.

110

@Elie

We know that RAI was much faster than Coulthard, Montoya and de la Rosa. But then he went to Ferrari and was on Massa's level. I think the change to Bridgestone tires hampered him, but that's not enough. By your comments in this site I can see you are a fan of him, and I like him a lot too (as a driver and personality) but I'm trying to do an unbiased analysis.

On a different note, I was completely wrong about Ferrari's competitiveness at silverstone (and you were right Red Bull were going to be much faster). They are absolutely nowhere! But they are, as I am, very very surprised. This was, on the paper, one of the two or three best circuits for them! But I guess it has something to do with the low temperatures. Let's see how quali pans out though.

111

Have you considered team favouritism or drivers ages in different racing eras, cars, team politics.

In Mclaren 2002-2006 it was very clear to anyone with common sense Kimi was the fastest driver on earth. Had his Mclaren held together he would have easily won in. 2005 and mostly likely 2003.

2007- ? Hamilton was a revelation even as Rookie he was as fast or faster than his WC team mate. Since 2010 Red Bull have the fastest package so a little tricky to measure Seb.

112

Schumi had a lot of bad luck in his come back. The crashes we saw in his previous tenure too. He might very well have been on top of his game, but he couldn't engineer the car and tyres the same we he could the first time around.

113

If you want to get a job done hire a Finn.

114

With that logic, Hamilton was beaten by Button, and Olanso was beaten by Hamilton the rookie... Now Button is struggling against Perez.

The best reference is Vettel himself, and he is getting better every year, which is impressive. I've been a V fan since 2007, and will remain so as long as he focuses on bringing the best out of himself, his team, and each situation. Very inspirational to me.

115

Well... I think you are referring to another season. The one I saw, "Olanso" end up tied to Hamilton in points in a British team (Do remember Ron Denis saying: "We are basically racing Fernando"). Vettel is as good as Button. A perfect driver on a perfect car. An average driver on a very good car. Every one is a genius driving a car that is ONE SECOND FASTER. The REAL genius there is Newey.

117

+1

NICE STUFF RONNIE, same here

118
Get well soon Murray

@Tealeaf.

I think the only person who can give Vettel a run for his money is Hamilton. Sadly, I don't think we're ever going to get the chance to see them in equal machinery. If only Ham had waited one more year...

119

Vettel will destroy Kimi and I like Kimi, he should stay at Lotus or rejoin Ferrari.

120

A true comparison between Kimi and Vettel can only be made depending on how Kimi is treated at RedBull and if they are treated as equals - somehow I doubt it and feel Vettel will always be their golden child and receive preferential treatment.

121

I'm sure they'll get equal treatment. Webber is quite the drama queen when things aren't going his way. But at the end of the day he was the engineer of his own bad luck when opportunity came knocking...

122

Yeah right... there's always something...

123

"Pro-Hollywood fans" wow thats gold man!! lol

124

Thank you Mark and good luck mate.

125

All the best to Mark. He's a very likable driver and character. I'm sorry for not seeing him win more often.

As for his replacement, it would be fun to see Kimi and Vettel in the same team, but it might also be a risky move for RB to sign Kimi. If they were allowed to race, that might split the wins and give Alonso (or whoever would be their closest competitor, I suppose it's impossible to say now) enough advantage to take WDC. It would be very interesting for us viewers though to see Kimi and Seb competing in the same car. And there would probably be some shocking interviews eventually.

126

Kimi tends not to crash into other drivers unless they make the same mistake twice (Perez in Monaco). At the end of the day, that is what Vettel needs in a team mate.

127

Gonna miss you in F1 mate. Can't wait to watch you in Le Mans next year 🙂

128

Grace and style - a very good lesson for the children and a positive move but you will be sorely missed. Thanks, Mark, for all you have done and who you are!

129

Sad to see him go. Key points that stand out in his career that limited him from winning a championship was the switch to Williams in 2005 and crashing in the rain at Korea 2010. Had it not been for these I believe he had the talent to win.

But despite that, an incredible career with some very impressive results. It is amazing that he managed to rise through the ranks coming from a smallish town in Australia.

For me the highlight of it all was the Monaco and Silverstone victories, the 5th place in his debut race in a Minardi and his first win coming through the field despite a drive through.

130

+1

For me that spin in Korea was the moment he lost the WDC.

131

So much this. Nice post mate, your post perfectly sums up my thoughts as an avid fan who has watched every race Webber has participated in.

I remember the early years watching the races just hoping he could score a point in the Jaguar. Good times, thanks for the memories in F1, Webber. I look forward to watching your move to Porsche.

132

Jenson would make a lot os sense.

133

button at redbull? what has? a cleaner?.

people talk some rubbish on here.

get grosjean take a chance

135

I would love to see Button drag yet another team down.

136

Vettel radio message "Jenson has no grip! get him out the way"

137

+ 100

138

You mean when Vettel laps Button?

140

As Horner said Button is married to McLaren. And Why would Red Bull hire old man like Button??

141

Please. Not Button.

142

The paddock won't be quite the same without MW - I liked his straightforward, no nonsense style with the media. Good luck to him at Porche.

143

Always interesting how Mark talks about his decisions with Mateschitz and not Horner, let alone Marko.

I think we all want Kimi vs Seb now, don't we?

144

Ooh Kimi is gonna take Seb to the cleaners!...

Can't wait!

145

I don't think I do want to see kimi head to RBR, I am torn. I like that there are so many teams with a chance. Having several top teams all with top notch drivers is great. 2014 is really going to be something to watch.

It would be great to see kimi and vettel go head on, though it's tough for me to think kimi would want to leave a team on an upward swing, that allow him to be himself, and really want him/gave him his in back into F1.

Plus with a big shake up in rules that my not fit RBR/newey from what I have read, means it may not be the best plan to go in now. Wait it out and see would be the best.

I think the tyres need to be sorted out and if I where kimi I would wait for that to make my move, they have been proven to be a huge part of current F1

146

Yes we do... although, it would be interesting to see an RB rookie next to Seb, just to see what stance Dr. Marko would adopt if his star 'academy driver' occasionally got embarrassed by a younger academy driver...

147

Indeed we do dude. It would really entertaining to see that and it would be good for the sport.

148

Oh God, Mark don't go! You're such a classic and classy driver, cut from a type of cloth that's no longer woven! I don't care what the haters say - our sport will register your loss almost immediately. Oh well, what F1 loses, sportscar racing gains! Now I have a reason to become a rabid Le Mans fan!!!

Hail Webber!

150

"Now I have a reason to become a rabid Le Mans fan!!!"

You'd be a fan of just one race?...

151

"You’d be a fan of just one race?…" <---- Yes. Endurance racing is boring, even with Mark Webber competing - except for Le Mans. Which could prove interesting and compelling with his participation, if they sex it up enough, and make it Pro-Hollywood in how it's presented.

152

So... not much of a motor racing enthusiast then!

153

I bet Lewis wishes he had of left last year. Then he would be sitting in a red bull right now. Sad to see mark go tho. Of all the drivers he is the 1 who I would most like to have a fee beers with. Cool guy.

154

Red Bull would not touch Hamilton with a 10 foot pole, Horner was very clear about that. Lewis comes with raw speed..and a lot of baggage.

Mercedes was looking for a top driver so they took a chance and hired him. they obviously did rate Rosberg enough.

Lets be honest, when you hear a young sportsman talk about his legacy and wanting to be a "brand", its clear that his focus is on stardom not sporting success.

155

lewis would of never of gone redbull.

anyway who says redbull is going to be the best next year,

teams who cant win this year will be putting all there manpower into next years new car/engine.

so it might not matter who goes to redbull anyway.

webber aint daft he knows its gonna be a lottery next year.and thought its best to go now.

he has given redbull a lot and helped to develop the team to where they are now.

we all know he wasn't as fast as vettel.

on a good day at the right track he did give vettel a good run for him money,

he has had a good career,won a few races,

he will again this year.vettel will pull over in his last race ha.

156

It's normal in almost all other sports...

157

Can't wait the Kimi vs Vettel battle....

In the same car, it's gona be epic!!!

158

If its the same car!

159

Now there's a BIG 'if'... 😉

160
Spinodontosaurus

Why wouldn't it be?

161

Finally! Good news for F1 imho. Webber is pleasant guy and fast racer but his performance wasn't justified to drive for the most top teams. Same as Massa honestly, there are more hungry and a bit faster drivers who deserve seat in Redbull and Ferrari.

All the best in Porche mate.

162

We will see just how fast he is/was when his replacement is even further behind finger boy next year. The new driver may have be close behind until about mid season stage, by then the Bull's preferential development towards their pet will have negated any possibility of challenging from then on.

163

I hope Red Bull choose someone who can give SV a run for his money so we can see how good SV is. I think KR is that man. Which probably means it won't happen! Anything to stop SV! Nothing personal of course.

164

Red Bull has a large promotional aspect to working there. In fact the whole company is essentially a huge promotion for an energy drink.

Will Kimi want all these promotional duties back?

165

Kimi has sunken pretty low with some of those hair shampoo commercials so I don't see him having any issues with the promotional aspects of Red Bull.

166

I think the funniest part of that is the cheesy voice over speaking as if it were Kimi.

167

Oh yeah, so girly and embarrasing!

168

he may have but be doesn't have dandruff ha,if you was paid loads to wash your hair, would you?

169

I sometimes wonder if that was really him, or if all he did was a photo-session, with his face pasted on someone else's body—and head, of course: no way was that his hair!

170

I dunno what it's like overseas, but I don't recall seeing much Red Bull promotion involving either current driver. Their demo runs and whatnot are done by Coulthard or others. Mark's done some Swisse stuff, but I think that's his own sponsorship deal. I guess they've done some Renault/Infiniti stuff, but I've seen Kimi hooning around in a Renault too. Actually I've probably seen more promotional stuff from Kimi this year than both RB drivers combined. Lotus have milked Kimi's character far beyond the point of it being funny. If he was helping put RB at the very top, that'd probably be most of the "promotional duties" taken care of.

171
Aleks Slovenia

I think the bullying and constant dissapointment of being told what to do made him sick of F1.

Shame, he could have struck gold by going elsewhere, he is not so old and just so bad.

Once in a while he has some great races and glimpses of brilliance.

All he needed was to get out of the claws of Helmut Marco &Co and his poster boy.

172

I like MW quite bit, and am sad to see him go. Hope he gets some high points before the end of the season and takes great memories with him.

Meanwhile it is unfair to blame "poster boy" for MW's performance (except in 2008 when V together with H took him off the podium in Japan). In 2008, Vettel finished 8th in STR 35 points, Webber 11th in RBR 21 points (Newey was there since 2006), DC in RBR16th 8 points, Bourdais 17th in STR 4 points. STR finished ahead of RBR in CCS.

173

Wait, I meant 2007 Japan GP

174

Yes but that incident was later blamed on Hamilton for braking dangerously behind the Safety car and Vettel's penalty for the next race was removed

175

would be intresting if at the last race of the year Alonso needs a good result and Vettel just needs a low points place to win the championship. What would Webber do?

1: Would the profesional team player wave Vettel through with plenty of room for the title? or

2: Take Vettel out leaving the title to his mate Alonso?

This is going to be an exciting title run in, I can feel it.

Good luck to Webber in his next chapter and remeber he's "not bad for a number to driver"

176

Isn't that exactly what we saw last year? And Webber was hardly a helpful teammate in Brazil, blocking Seb at the beginning and slowing him mid-race (to the point where RBR chose to pit webber just to get him out of the way)

177

This is my point, if its his last race for the team he has nothing to lose. In Brazil 2012 he could only squeeze and hinder Vettel as he had a comitment to the team this year whats the team going to do sake him?

178

At the rate Vettel is going if this form continues, he would be WC before the last race.

179

Watch the start of Brazil 2012, and you will have your answer...

Exact same scenario, Start of the race Webber instead of leaving Vettel room on the inside of the first corner, squeezed Vettel, which caused him to lose positions and led to the Senna/Vettel crash which nearly ended Vettels Championship.

Compare this with Massa who perfectly played the supporting team mate card, by defending and pushing Webber to the outside of the corner to let Alonso through on the inside to make up 2 positions for his team mate.

180

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eb0zuFmd1kM

Video of Webber deliberately squeezing Vettel (last race of 2012), with World Championship on the line, instead of going wide and helping his team mate.

181

Webber would never take anyone out! But he would race Vettle very very hard..

182

Good for you MW. A big responsibilty taking a works Porsche back to Le Mans, but wow, what a prospect. How I wish Ferrari would return to Le Mans to restore the heyday of the Ferrari Porsche battles.....here's hoping.

183

putting kimi in marks seat will make red bulls driver development program and ownership of toro rosso a very costly, ineffective way of finding talent.

184

Yes, and is probably the excuse they will use, for not putting a known fast driver next to Vettel... which will be interesting, if one of the younger TR drivers turns out to be as quick as SV.

185

Judging by his comments, Kimi would appear to have an offer on the table.

186

But I thought DM has intention to sell the TR outfit.

187

Sad to see you go, Mark. You are one of the really great guys in F1 today, and it is always a pleasure to hear you speak.

Will probably follow lemans just because you are there now.

188

Wish webber good luck. One of those drivers who deserved to have won at least one championship. Hope RBR would support him at least for this one season for all the support he has offered to the team right from its inception. Minardi-jag-Williams-RBR, have been a fan of his throughout.

Wish RBR gets a driver who can keep a check on vettel's attitude, totally does not deserve to be where he is... Thinks he is winning only because of him & nt team.

189

What is wrong with Vettels attitude and how do you know what he thinks?

It seems to me Seb has the right attitude, which is to look after himself and take car of business. He is no angel but that is how most race drivers are. He has also made the most of his opportunities which is not something many if any of the other drivers have done.

I also believe he is the best driver right now and whoever is his teammate will take quite the beating.

190

Please give a link or quote of Vettel claiming that he alone is responsible for his success, don't just make the claim or supposition without evidence. In fact Seb has constantly given recognition and praise to the team after every win, like over the team radio after Canada: 'Thank you, boys, the car was fantastic'. He always uses 'we', not 'I' when talking about success, unless he expresses gratitude to the team.

Ted Kravitz goes on and on about how popular he is in the team. Fans keep projecting their own opinion of him onto people who actually know him and work with him everyday. I am sure Webber and his supporters in the team don't like him, but he seems very much loved by the team as a whole, not just by Horner and Marko.

191

Shame. One of the few drivers with a personality leaves the sport.

192

Good luck Mark, a true professional.

I hope Vettel is made to regret the 'multi 21' episode before Webber leaves.

193

Yes Dan

Webber should pay back vettel soon and in a way vettel must lose WDC and he should never forget that throught his entire life.

194

Can't wait for Mark to start dishing the dirt...

195

I can't wait for next years Porsche LMP1 car show up to the track with Red Bull livery.

196

I have a feeling he will lol

197

Well we can only wish Mark the very best for his move next year. He's a decent guy, perhaps a little too trusting of his team mate, but a proper bloke and proper sportsman. If Raikkonen does move to Red Bull it will be interesting to see how that pans out, but like Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes I expect there will be a period of adjustment necessary for Raikkonen to get the best out of himself, and the car, but once he's there he will be stiff competition for Vettel.

198

Keep in mind that next year the cars will be dramatically different so both drivers would have a steep learning curve. Only advantage Vettel would have is that he's well in tune with the team

199

Well that's true of course, but certain things about the car will remain the same such as brake, steering/handling feel. Red Bull will want to retain as many of the positive things about the car as possible so as not to destablise their drivers. On the other hand Raikkonen might take to the Red Bull car like a duck to water so I guess we'll have to wait and see.

200

I always liked Webber...fun to watch and even better to listen to! It will be interesting to see how he does the rest of this year. Wish him the best of luck with Porsche.

201

Thanks Mark.

202

Good decision. Webber had the same car, support and opportunity just like his team mates. But unlike some of the others, Vettel was too good. Year after year Webber was getting thrashed with no end in sight. so, it is a good time to leave. If he had gone to Ferrari last year, then it would have been a different story.

From now on he will do his own race and will not help Vettel. In fact he never really helped Vettel in any of his championships.

People are still talking about Multi21 but there were several occasions where there were Multi12 orders which Mark didn't heed.

Webber is a very outspoken guy but most of the time he was like a child complaining that Vettel is the team's favourite and he gets everything. He never grew out of it.

Anyway, good luck to Webber in his next chapter.

Bring on Kimi to Red Bull!!

203

@ ROB newman

Webber is very naive and outspoken nothing more than that

The one who complains, cries and moans is S. VETTEL.

Webber has no obligation whatsoever to let vettel through. Yet vettel crashed into him 2010 Turkish GP. Silverstone 2010 Wing debacle. 2011 Silverstone (Hold station). 2013 Malasiyan GP Etc.

Vettel was too good ? What too Good he won WDC titles due to fair share of luck. With broken car in 2012 brazilian GP vettel was able to finish the race despite his crash into B. Senna. The lotuses took vettel WDC rival out of the race twice.

Vettel was quicker than webber only in 2011. Nothing else

204

Really? You think the two RBR cars are the same spec?

205

Only in 2011 when the car (and Tyres) suited him perfectly from pre season testing onwards, did he "thrash" his teammate. In 2010 & last year he certainly did not.

I would say that preference in development very much in his favour had more to do with it than driving ability. Having said that, Vettel is great driver and as good as any. Just not quite as good as his ardent followers think.

206

Vettel is obviously favoured in the team and it's hard for a driver to openly criticise his employer.Still, "..not bad for a number 2 eh?"

207

'Year after year Webber was getting thrashed with no end in sight.'

What were you doing in 2010 Rob?

208

Did you forget the 4 or 5 races Vettel was cruising to victory but had to retire??? If it werent for those retirements be would have had a 100 point margin over his team mate. I find it really funny no one mentions Vettels Mechanical failures in races where he is cruzing to victories on this forum but if god forbid anything happens to Webbers car all the conspiracy theorist wake up with their own theory to blame Vettel, Marko and Horner

209

Coulda, woulda shoulda.

My point remains.

210
Spinodontosaurus

Looking past the points and acknowledging the woeful reliability that Vettel had to endure that season, perhaps.

211

Hahaha - thanks for the laugh mate!

212

Name one race where Webber ignored orders?

Don't name Silverstone as there was no team orders existing prior to Vettel asking for it during the race.

And Brazil had no orders & Webber let Vettel through & the team thanked Webber over the radio.

Webber was honest(not a complainer), Vettel is the one always complaining ( have you watch any F1 races?)

Vettel always crying & complaining over the radio during races (complains when he gets passed, complains when he can't pass, complains when he botches Qualifiying it goes on & on).

I feel sorry for the next RBR driver, I could only see a another German driver having any hopes as RBR heavily markets to German audience, a fellow German that can bring in as much money as Vettel will have the best chance of fair & equal treatment within the team.

213

Spot on.

214

Andrew havent you heard Alonso and Hamilton too? they are Very vocal too. And i have no idea where you get your sources, this isnt a lower rung or a middle rung team. This is Redbull they dont need a driver to bring in money they hire the best and pay them for performing

215

Actually Webber should have, and could have won in 2010, but his performance just dropped away allowing the others to catch and overtake him towards the end. It was a great pity that something upset him, and affecting his performance.

216

A great guy leaving the sport. Good luck to him. RB would be foolish not to put Raikkonen into his seat. Either junior driver would be a week point and too much of a risk. Both are good, though. Massa might be available, too, but he is too inconsistent and not fast enough. Huelkenberg I rate highly, but not proven just yet. Vettel/ Raikkoknen pairing would be epic and great for the sport. But, Lotus might be creative enough to give Kimi some thinking to do. Maybe let him do some rallying can be the turning point?

217

How about this idea. How about Hulk or Diresta racing with Kimi at Lotus next year instead of RG?

218

A Great Aussie!

219

I can appreciate the need for Mark to leave F1 and return to real racing rather than the manufactured eff-1-tainment that we are being served up now. And next year's "greenfest" will only be worse. Thanks for all the straight talking Mark and for putting your money where your mouth is.

221

Ok - Massa next.

222

And Grosjean. And Button. Too many good seats taken by those past their prime.

223

I mean, I know Grosjean's not past his prime, but... his prime involves too many impacts with the scenery.

224

Good luck to Mark Webber.

RB may not have many strong alternatives.

Kimi is a great choice, provided RB are ready for potential internal fireworks.

Riccardo is in F1 for 2 years now and should be ready to get in or kicked out. Same thing for JEV at end of this season.

Is Nico Hulkenberg on RB radar ?

226

Is he on the Ferrari radar James?

227

Interesting I was just thinking the same thing James

228

Hulkenberg makes sense, as it seems he's not allowed to race for the same team for consecutive years.

229

That's interesting.

But still I would like to see VET/RAI competing with HAM/ROS next year. It will be close!

230

Despite the difficulties webber has had, troublesome starts etc. MW seemed to always carry himself with dignity in F1. Good luck on this next phase.

231

In a way it's a pity that he is leaving. He was brave.

I think sportscar racing is a good choice. Just watched LeMans 24h. Long safety car periods is a disease indeed, but at least they are really racing when it is green, not DRS-ing a fake spectacle whole the time. Additionally, many of these "lesser" series, like WTCC, FIA GT, LMS and so on, have races on much more interesting and colourful circuits than we see in F1.

In short, Mark is going to do motorsport again and I wish him all good luck.

232
Mohammed Al-Momen

Would be awesome to see RAK vs VET 🙂

233

...which is probably why it won't happen.

234

There are no posts published as yet whilst I am writing this. No doubt there will be derogatory posts from the finger boy ffan boys about Mark coming.

Whilst no doubt Vettel is a great driver, I don't think there would be any difference between them if they were the same age, particularly as Webber has had the edge in the past until the Bulls development slanted in Seb's favour has allowed him to get ahead.

Had Mark been driving a car of similar quality to the Bulls earlier in his career, he would be a multiple WDC winner. Kiki will do no better if he gets Mark's old seat next year.

Look forward to seeing him go well in the enduro races.

235

Good Kiki does not compete in F1 🙂

236

All the best for the future Mark 🙂

237

As for the vacant seat:

As much as I like Kimi, what about Toro Rosso?

Obviously as an Aussie Ricciardo would be my pick, but if neither Dan or JEV get their chance to move up after performing well in an under-performing car then in my eyes the RB development program is a waste of time and money and ultimately a joke.

One driver promoted in seven or eight years?

Do one of these guys actually have to win a race in a Toro Rosso (Monza for example) in order to get a shot?

238

How many other top teams that have a driver development program are using one of those drivers right now?

239

Toro Rosso is one specific case - relevant to this particular topic, which is why I mentioned it - but it's also an extreme case.

Sure other teams have a driver development program in other categories, but how many other teams are running a sister team specifically for development drivers?

None that I know of, which means that Mr. Mateschitz is forking out millions on something he's basically not using.

To me that's like paying millions for a pool and then deciding not to go for a swim after all. Yes I know he's a zillionare and can do these things if he wants to, but come on!

So I ask again: What is the point of having any kind of driver development program if you're not going to utilise it, and what do these guys have to do to be proved worthy?

240

>"if he finds himself in a situation where he is battling with Vettel it’s unlikely that he will feel obliged to play the team game"

Webber has never played the team game. That's the biggest knock against him - he's actually been a pretty good driver, but a very, VERY poor teammate. Before Webber, I'd never seen a driver (himself out of the title race) try to stop his title chasing teammate from winning the title! A stunt like that would have seen him instantly sacked from any other team in F1, but being best mates with Mateschitz has its rewards it seems.

241

So you're saying that Dietrich Mateschitz is/was conspiring against his star driver? That's a new one to me!

242

Mateschitz's personal "star driver" has always been Mark Webber.

243

Yes... your point being? Does Red Bull's owner like MW so much that he would be OK with him punting SV off the road?

244

So the teammate that ridiculously cut him off and took both of them out of the race (Turkey 2010?) when the leader was told to conserve fuel, was being helpful was he?

245

Accidents do happen in F1, even between teammates. Ask Hamilton and Button. It's a mystery to me why people feel the need to pretend that Turkey 2010 was an act of malice on SV's part. That seems to be carrying the need to hate the man a little too far.

246

Malice, I don't think so. Stupidity, probably. Arrogance, no doubt.

I think he is a great driver, but not someone I would share a beer with.

247

So, we can actually hope to see Kimi & Seb together next year? That would be great...

248

One more thing. It is often said that Vettel has to prove himself in another team or at least to drive in the same team with one of the best drivers on the grid. Is Kimi good enough reference?

I think it is.

They would certainly push each other if they end up in the same car.

249

Vettel won't move teams, he isn't a real racer. He is handed his titles nothing more.

250

Kimi would slaughter Vettel

251

you sure about that??? Kimi played number two to massa before he was sacked by Ferrari.

252

The key words here is "same car".

254

Hi James,

Have you got any info about internal relations at RedBull?

Sound like Dietrich M has know for a while and Webber went to meet him this week? Horner found out 1 hour before the announcement.....

Has Horner been undermined? Any behind the scenes info on this?

255

Yes, seems Mark did indeed keep the 'boss' informed every step of the way, Horner needs to direct his 'disappointment' at Mr Mateschitz door

256

I wouldn't say undermined so much, just kept out of the loop.

Horner has spent too much time with his arm around Vettel's shoulder, so it's no surprise to me if Webber doesn't feel an abundance of loyalty.

258

Horner is constantly undermined by Vettel.

259

Yup - and by Webber and DM also! Webber yesterday and in Brazil last year.

I find his Team Principal role v interesting.

What do other team principals think of him?

On one side he's popular with Bernie.

Has been extremely successful over last 4 yrs.

On other side this success has probably been largely down to Newey and Seb mainly (and Webber).

260

Has Horner been undermined? - are you serious - look at SV actions...

261

This time undermined by his boss. Pretty embarrassing for him!

262

Horner doesn't have much to do with the signing or sacking of any drivers. His job is to provide the drivers with Newey's creations. DM & Marko handle that side of the business.

263

That may be true but still weird that DM didn't call Horner to keep him updated? Horner is his Team Principal and knew nothing until just before the announcement.

264

Yeah, I guess you're right.

I read somewhere Webber was happy with how the announcement process took place so Horner not being in the loop may have been how Webber wanted it. Goes to show how much respect has been lost in that relationship probably due to the way Horner has managed (or mismanaged) events in the RBR garage.

265

They co-own a GP3 team remember

266
Stephen Taylor

James , I think Kimi ould rather rejoin Ferrari than sign for Red Bull. I think Kimi has decided to stay with Lotus but when he is.saying he is unsure about 2014 I believe he just doesn't want to distract himself from the job in hand.

267

Doubt it - Ferrari shafted him & only the massive payout bought Kimi's silence on it. He got a sweet deal paid a full year NOT to drive for them.

268
Stephen Taylor

oops would stupid iPad.

269

Don't feel too bad Stephen, the rest of us can do that with a plain old keyboard 🙂

270

Let's see what two No 1 drivers can do for Red Bull.

Yes, I know Seb reckons he will always be the No 1. THAT'S WHAT HE THINKS. Kimi may have his own view.

BTW: Porsche just announced Team Orders are going to be a major priority for them, from today. Bad Luck Mark!

271

WOW, it's payback time!!!! Vettel will surely be wary of that.

272

While Mark has a contract till the end of the season Red Bull do not have to race him they can swap in another driver if they think Mark may impede Vettel's championship fight.

273

What a shame Mark is leaving F1! He is one of the few drivers I am a serious fan of. There will soon be very few F1 drivers for us older followers to identify with! I am a fan of Nico Rosburg though, and it is probobly partly due to his father Keke racing here in NZ years ago, it's a bit like we know the familly.

Good luck, Mark.

PK.

274

Great to see Webber have the opportunity to drive for legendary Porsche, surely a dream come true.

I'm sure Mark will make a tremendous team leader. Best of luck to him.

275

Wow, Porsche's assembling one heck of a line up for next year, roll on Le Mans 2014.

As for Red Bull, it'll be interesting to see who gets the seat with the Torro Rosso duo and Raikkonen widely tipped as the favorites.

276

Massa to RB, Kimi to Ferrari.. 😉

277

Why on earth would anybody take on Massa? After a promising start to the season he's settled down to be not much better than last year.

And I don't see Kimi and Ferrari working again either.

278

This is such great news! Webber will make his own legacy with Porsche. He has unfinished business in Le Mans. At 37 he could do a Vettel and win the legendary race multiple times.

Nothing beats the heroism of Le Mans. Mark, I'll be there next year!

279

Respect to the man! He's never been my favourite driver, but there's clearly more than meets the eye to this guy! Best of luck,

280

+1 David

281

He’s not retiring –

Just upgrading from the pinnacle of motor entertainment to the pinnacle of motorsport.

F1 is about to become the new feeder series for LMP1.

282

Yes, but just wait until the Red Bull brand seriously enters LeMans...

283

I'm hoping they do, sooner rather than later...along with McLaren and Mercedes.

LMP1 will benefit from it and remain motorsport's pinnacle.

284

I think that sports car racing will be a very a much more amenable environment for Mark and he will bring a lot to Porsche as they build their Le Mans campaign.

It would be nice to see him racing freely for the rest of the year and if he does some damage to Vettel's chances here and there, it will make for some fine entertainment!

285

Good luck Mark, you can start eating again! F1 has to change something as big guys size and weight handicaps and Mark is not that big struggle in f1 cars. Marks 6.2 and around 70 that's wrong. F1 is turning into hobbit racing

286

It's impossible for that to be avoided, just the nature of pysics.

287

Hobbit racing...the possibilities are endless! 😀

288
BringBackAdelaide

A champion of a bloke who's done Australia proud on the biggest stage.

Hope he gets a win or two before the end of the season.

Well done Mark.

289

I have been watchin webber from the start.. still remember when he quailed on the 2nd row in a jag, he was really ranked as an up and comer.. also remember when he was 2nd and gaining quickly on hami in the wet when rbr was shit.

could have been a world champ if he went to right team early on (would have built a reputation and a fundamental sense of self confidence, like what happened to alonso).. been a lot of drama and ups and downs, nice journey to follow.

290

I remember Webbers debut i Australia, what a great debut it was. He was sensational.

As a matter in fact he has been a great driver throughout his career beating every single team-mate he`s had except Vettel. And that includes team mates that are now proving their metal against drivers claimed to be among the greatest ever.

Unfortunately Webber arrived on the scene at a point in time when Schumacher/Ferrari dominated F1 completely. Wins for others were few and far between. Webber also had the misfortune of ending up in the teams further back on the grid. When he finally got into a top team he had the misfortune of going up against Vettel.

A lot of people try to convince themselves and others that Vettel is not great but come on. a three time WDC is nothing if not a great driver. As a mater in fact every single WDC is a great driver. The fact that Webber has held his own against Vettel the way he has says a hell of a lot of MW`s quality. He`s also won 9 GP`s in his career and been among the most respected drivers for a long time.

I find the way a lot of people try to portray MW as an "also ran" annoying. There is a lot more to MW the race driver than many people give him credit for. I fear his legacy will be tainted by the attempts by many to belittle Vettel. In order to claim that Vettel is an average driver MW must be even less of a driver.

On the other hand that might backfire in the long run and give MW the credit he deserves. If Vettel hangs up his boots 10 years from now with seven or more Championships to his name Webber will always be remembered as the guy who put up a good fight. Redemption.

291

Well put!

He might have also won a championship if he got the chance earlier. He was older when he got his first race in F1 than Vettel is now, a 3 time champ already.

I was following Mark when he first headed over sea's. It's been a long ride, but it's been worth it.

I will definitely be following him at Porsche.

Well done Mate!!!

292

+1 So true.

293

Congratulations on all your achievements Mark. Don't listen to the haters. You've been a great ambassador for Australian motorsport. Good luck with Porsche.

294

I'm sure Hamilton secretly wished he'd signed just a 1 year extension at McLaren now a Red Bull seat is up for grabs LOL.

As for Kimi, there is no way he would play #2 to Marko's golden child and could he REALLY truely be sure of equal support and equipment.

On the other hand tho, if they take one of the Toro Roso drivers they would for sure be #2 and then what will Red Bull do when Vettle goes to Ferrari and they are stuck with a decent #2 but not top #1. It's going to be interesting on how they play this one, there is 2 choices from what I can see and that's either, keep Seb happy for 2 years with a reasonable #2 or look for someone who will easily step into #1 status when Seb goes.

295

Vettel wouldn't want Ham at RB

296

Maybe, and maybe not Horner either. But if final driver selection is down to Mateschitz, I could've seen him wanting it. To me, DM likes drama in F1, and probably loved the Senna/Prost and Piquet/Mansell years. Plus he loves publicity, and getting Hamilton would ensure that.

Of course if RBR fall back next year, then such a teammate battle wouldn't be as exciting.

297

Both Vettel and Hamilton have gone on record to say they dont mind driving against any other driver its only Alonso who is afraid of both Vettel and Hamilton

298

RedBull wouldn't want Hamilton at RedBull...

299

Alonso must be laughing. He now has Mark supporting his campaign..

300

What do you mean "now"? Mark has behaved like Alonso's unofficial teammate for the last few years.

301

How, by beating Alonso in Britain last year? Would've been the difference in the DWC if he hadn't.

By going over the kerbing when Vettel pushed him out wide out of the bus stop chicane in Belgium last year? Webber could've stayed on track, and claimed innocence. Even in Malaysia this year, Webber could've run Vettel wide at turn 3, but didn't. I'd like to have heard the team radio at that point, as it seemed Webber lifted, relented, and let Vettel through.

302

I would also favour a peer that I respected, rather than the 2IC's FAVOURED brat.

303

+1

304

James,

Do you honestly think there is a chance Red Bull would mix the very strong personalities of Raikkonen and Vettel?

Cheers,

Giles

305

I think with all the investment they've made into Toro Rosso, they have to get a driver out of it.

There is also Hulkenberg to consider

306

Vettel needs a challenge. He can only prove his greatness by having Kimi in the other car.

I hope Red Bull don't wait too long. Ricciardo and Vergne better start looking at other teams as well …

307

I'm far from as plugged in as you are James, but those are my thoughts exactly.

308

Vettel's achievements are so great that in order to prove that he's worthy of them, he should compare with Kimi. He's not stupid, he knows this.

309

James, you know something that we don't?

Hmm...

310

The way I see it is that Vettel's got 2 choices:

1) Help get Kimi and prove his worth against a known benchmark, (not that Mark wasn't quick).

2) Get a #2 from Toro Rosso and make life easy for himself,

im saying this because earlier today Horner claimed that Vettel's opinion will be in consideration.

311

That's true, but on the other hand probability of winning another WCC with current 2 most consistent drivers (VET & RAI) seems to be higher and that must pay off all expenses, IMHO.

312

True, but there is a possibility that Seb and Kimi will split their wins and lose WDC to Alonso/Hamilton/Rosberg.

313

Thanks Mark. Great fun watching over many years. With last weeks Le Man, there's another reason to watch WEC over the next few years.

314

it was not at all unexpected. webbers decision to move on will leave a great hole in my race expectations and enjoyment.

having followed his career from the very earliest days he has provided me,and many others, with some of the most thrilling moments of the modern F1 era.

his timing is sweet and appropriate in the circumstances. as horner said, 'he has taken it into his own hands' which shows horner has taken some slight/offence in ref to the announcement as a result. my response would be, 'yes, just like vettel did in malaysia'

what i do particularly like is that webber has had an extremely close relationship with DM and it appears the two of them are great mates. nice way to go mark. pretty good really for a 'No.2'

315

It will be sad to see Mark go as I believe he is an asset to F1 a true racer and tells it as it is....but I think its perfect timing on his behalf and the challenges he has in the WEC will be just as great and the technology will still be there to race in the best technologies sports cars without all the political BS.

All the best Mark...your fans will still be watching you in your new challenge 🙂

316

All the best to Mark Webber, I've loved him for a long time!

Best 3 races for me, were his 1st race, his 1st win in Germany with a drive through penalty, and the Silverstone "not bad for a number 2" win...

But the memory that still leaves me shaking my head & smiling at whenever I see it or think of it was the pass on Alonso at Eau Rouge in Spa...my goodnees if that's not the best & ballsiest F1 pass I've ever seen!

317
Scuderia McLaren

Yes, I agree with your veiw on that pass. That pass, and Hakkinens pass on Schumacher at Spa 2000, are the definition of "Big Balls". I wonder if a female driver could ever attempt those sorts of special "you give way or we die" moments. I will get stick for this last comment but I do honestly wonder if a female would have that X Factor as most men, bar the craziest and bravest, cant attempt them either.

318

Congratulations Mark on a terrific Grand Prix career! Its been a joy following you in the sport. Not withstanding your impressive drives and ultra competetive fair minded racecraft , I've appreciated your open and dignified opinions concerning many the sports contentious issues.

Best of luck the rest of the way this year hope to see you on the top step at least another couple of times!

319

I follow Mark, not because we are both Aussies (I am not a Dan Fan), but because he is one of the most likable and honest characters in F1. Will certainly miss him from the grid. A straight shooter that proved himself countless times even if luck (or his team) were never in his corner.

James, a couple of questions if I may.

- Do have any idea of what proportion of drivers *choose* to leave F1. It seems that the vast majority are squeezed out.

- Do you know if he will keep on with his teams in lower categories? It would truly be a shame to lose his genuine interest in for giving a chance to very talented drivers who get overlooked because of economic/sponsorship considerations.

- Did he seriously turn down a Ferrari drive, and if so do you know why? Is it something to do with his and Horners joint business interests in other racing categories?

- You two seem to hit it off, do you have any insights to share?

320

James,

is it possible that Red Bull is having a go at winning Le Mans along side Porsche with sponsorship for the factory team.

321

looks like I might be right.D M says Webber will remain part of the Red Bull family in reports today.

322

Kimi would be a mistake... He is too fast and he and Vettel would take points off each other... Alonso World Champion!

323

Good! That sounds fantastic!

324

Kimi would be perfect, they need a worthy replacement for Vettel if he decides to go to Mercedes or Ferrari after 2015 with that in mind Kimi is the natural choice

<