Mark Webber announces retirement at the end of 2016 season
The former Formula 1 driver and 2016 FIA World Endurance champion Mark Webber will retire from racing at the end of 2016 season and he would become Porsche special representative, Porsche announces today.
Webber’s professional racing career would come to an end after the last round of the 2016 FIA WEC, in November at Bahrain. After that, the 40-year-old Australian will take a new role as a special representative of Porsche brand at global events and as a consultant for the motorsport programme of German manufacturer. This will include talent research as well as driver training for up and coming professionals and the huge number of worldwide Porsche amateur racers. Webber would become the partner of Walter Röhrl, who already works on such a position.
“Mark Webber stands for everything what Porsche implies: sportsmanship, power of endurance, straightforwardness and focused work for success. He is full of beans and always a thoughtful listener. I want to thank Mark for his great performance in the World Endurance Championship and am pleased he will remain tightly connected to Porsche in the future”, says Oliver Blume, Chairman of the Executive Board of Dr. Ing h.c. F. Porsche AG.
“Mark has strengthened us with all his experience and he seamlessly integrated himself into the team. Behind the wheel he is a fair fighter, never shy of even the toughest wheel-to-wheel battle. At the same time, he thinks strategically and is team orientated. This mixture makes him invaluable as an endurance racer. Winning the 2015 drivers’ world championship together with Timo Bernhard and Brendon Hartley almost seemed to be a logical consequence. Also thanks to his performance, we hope to win the world championship titles for manufacturers and drivers again in 2016”, added Fritz Enzinger, Porsche’s Vice President for LMP1 programme.
Currently the Porsche Team ranks first in both classifications. In the manufacturers’ world championship Porsche leads with 238 points ahead of Audi (185) and Toyota (137). The crew Dumas/Jani/Lieb lead in the drivers’ standings. Mark Webber is currently in the fourth place.
“I have arrived where I belong. Porsche is the brand I always loved most and the one that suits me the best. The 911 is iconic – it has got elegance, performance and understatement, and is never intrusive. It is just the right car for every scenario. I will miss the sheer speed, downforce and competition, but I want to leave on a high and I’m very much looking forward to my new tasks”, says Mark Webber.
He also commented LMP1 experience: “It was a big change from Formula One to LMP1 and an entirely new experience. But it came at the right time for me. I found I liked sharing a car and the chemistry between Timo, Brendon and me is special and something I’ll always remember. It will be strange getting into the race car for the very last time in Bahrain but for now I will thoroughly enjoy every moment of the remaining races.”
Before joining Porsche in 2014, Webber recorded 215 starts in Formula One Grand Prix races, scoring nine victories and 42 podiums. He competed with four teams (Minardi, Jaguar, Williams and Red Bull), being third in the championship classification three times (2010, 2011 and 2013).
After three seasons with Porsche, 2016 will be the year of the retirement but also the year of new beginning. Early this summer he married his long-time partner Ann, at the end of the year he would store his racing suit and wear a business suit, to became a new career as Porsche’s special representative and consultant. The look into his garage proved that he is the right person for that duty, because Webber’s personal collection features a 918 Spyder, a 911 R, a GT3 RS (991), a 911 GT2 RS (997), a 911 GT3 RS 4.0, a 1954 356 Cabriolet and a 1974 2.7 Carrera.