Red Bull Racing’s Mark Webber will quit Formula One after this season to drive for Porsche AG’s team at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and other endurance events.
Webber said on his website he had options to stay in Formula One, without identifying them, but is sticking to a plan to leave. Red Bull, whose other driver Sebastian Vettel is the defending champion, said in a statement it won’t pick Webber’s replacement until later in the season.
“Formula One as a category wasn’t on my radar for 2014,” Webber said. “Will I miss some of this? Yes, of course, but time doesn’t stand still for anyone and it’s time to move on to my next challenge.”
Webber, a 36-year-old Australian, has started 203 Formula One races since joining the now-defunct Minardi team for the 2002 season. He then moved to Jaguar and Williams.
He joined Red Bull in 2007 and has captured all nine of his Formula One race wins with the team. He’s seeking his third British Grand Prix victory in four years at Silverstone in England this weekend.
Webber has had several falling-outs with Vettel, most recently in March this year when he said the 25-year-old German had “some explaining to do” after ignoring team orders and passing him to win the Malaysian Grand Prix.
The Australian is fifth in this year’s driver standings. Vettel, in first place, is seeking a fourth straight championship.
Webber will continue to help energy drink maker Red Bull GmbH promote its brand, he said.
The Formula One season ends Nov. 24. Porsche is returning to the elite category for the June 2014 edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. It last won in 1998.
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