With nine grand prix victories and an FIA World Endurance Championship to his name, Mark Webber has decided to call it quits.
Porsche has just announced the retirement of its star driver and current reigning champion, set to take effect at the end of this season. Once the remaining three races are done this year, Webber will stay with the German outfit as a representative and consultant in a similar capacity to Walter Röhrl, the two-time World Rally Champion and Le Mans class winner. But he won’t be racing anymore – at least not in a full-time capacity.
Webber has had a long and distinguished career, rising up the formula racing ladder before making it into F1, where he drove for Minardi, Benetton, Jaguar, Williams, and finally Red Bull. There he drove alongside David Coulthard for two seasons and then with Sebastian Vettel for another five, helping the team secure its four consecutive manufacturers’ titles, and taking nine checkered flags himself along the way.
The affable Aussie has also amassed a wealth of experience in endurance racing, first driving for Mercedes in the FIA GT Championship and 24 Hours of Le Mans back in 1998 and ’99, famously flipping into the air in a CLK GTR on the Circuit de la Sarthe.
Webber returned to sports cars in 2014, leaving Formula One behind to headline Porsche’s new factory effort. He won four races last year to clinch the championship, and another three so far this season, and is scheduled to compete in three more – at Fuji, Shanghai, and Bahrain – before he hangs up his helmet for good at the age of 40.