Mark Webber has cast doubt on his long-term F1 future by revealing that he could quit the sport if he secures the title before the end of 2011.
The current points leader signed an extension of his contract with Red Bull earlier this year which goes through to the end of next year, with a one-year deal being seen as the best option for both team and driver given his position as one of the older drivers on the grid.
While he could yet extend his career into 2012, the Australian admits that his time in F1 could come to an end if he is successful in securing the title before then.
“I cannot guarantee that my head will be in the same place in 2012,” he told the Esporte Espetacular
programme. "For sure I want to go for the championship. I know that it changes people's lives, changes the person and I want to know how it feels."
Webber added that, when his time in F1 does end, he could see himself mentoring young people before retiring to his homeland.
"I want them to realise that they can dream higher and achieve,” he said. “Maybe I will do a little mountain climbing, who knows.
"I'll definitely do some more sporting challenges before I get too old and return to Australia to drink red wine."