Mark Webber has hinted that he could be ready to resurrect the Pure Tasmania adventure race that bore his name until last year, adding weight to rumours that he is getting ready to bow out of F1 in the next couple of years.
The Australian helped organise the multi-discipline event for four years, combining his love of competition with the chance to promote the natural beauty of his homeland, but it almost came back to haunt him when he was knocked from his bike in the 2008 event, badly breaking both his leg and collarbone. The injuries threatened to sideline him from the early part of the 2009 F1 campaign but, still limping, Webber defied medical opinion to make the pre-season tests and then went on to not only become a race winner, but also a contender for the world championship.
Many believed that the event was dropped in 2009 because of Webber's misfortune, but the Red Bull Racing ace insists that the global economic meltdown had deterred investors from signing on as sponsors. Now, with Australia largely weathering the financial storm, Webber admits that he is getting ready to revive the race for 2011 - when his new contract with RBR is due to run out.
Although he has only admitted that his F1 career cannot go on forever, many believe that the Australian is preparing to bow out sooner rather than later, and his exit could be hastened by success in this year's championship battle, where he currently sits three points off leader Lewis Hamilton with six rounds remaining. The subject of the adventure race was raised, by Webber, when Australia's Sydney Morning Herald
asked him whether he had begun to consider life after F1.
"We're looking at reintroducing my Tasmania Challenge - in fact, we're in the throes of finalising a deal which will hopefully see it return at the end of 2011," the recently turned 34-year old confirmed, "But there are plenty of other very challenging and enduring activities [to look at after F1] where I will be forced to learn more about myself and about mental toughness."