Motor Sports: Mark Webber to quit Formula 1


Red Bull Australian driver Mark Webber has decided to end his Formula 1 career at the end of the 2013 season. He won't leave motor sports for good though, he is set to join German company Porsche's new sportscar programme, which includes an attempt to win the classic Le Mans 24 Hours. Webber had a few offers to remain in F1, either with Red Bull or another top team, but he says he felt it is time to move on in his career. Lotus's Kimi Raikkonen is favourite to replace him, with Toro Rosso's Daniel Ricciardo or Jean-Eric Vergne also in contention.

Webber described it as an "honour" to race for Porsche: "Porsche has written racing history as a manufacturer and stands for outstanding performance and technology at the highest level. I'm very much looking forward to this new challenge after my time in Formula 1. I can hardly wait to pilot one of the fastest sports cars in the world." During hi 12 years in Formula 1, Webber has won nine grands prix, achieved 36 podium finishes, 11 pole positions and 15 fastest laps and twice finished third in the World Championship.

Mark Webber admitted that he did consider staying with Red Bull for another season but he has decided that with the important change in regulations next year that will dramatically affect the demands of F1 it would be a good time to move on. He will now be the top asset in Porsche's quest for glory Le Mans, a race they have won 16 times, the last in 1998. Webber has raced at Le Mans twice before, with Mercedes in 1998 and 1999.

The next Formula 1 race is the British Grand Prix this weekend, here are the odds at Bet365 for the fastest qualifier:

Sebastian Vettel - 2/1
Lewis Hamilton - 9/4
Nico Rosberg - 7/2
Mark Webber - 9/1
Fernando Alonso - 10/1

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