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Porsche eyeing Webber for Le Mans return?

3 April 2013

The latest bout of unrest within the Red Bull Racing camp has naturally led to speculation over Mark Webber's future with the team, with the Australian being linked to various options for 2014.

Whilst a move to anything other than a frontrunning F1 team is unlikely to satisfy Webber after seven years with RBR, a return to sportscars is one alternative that may hold an attraction, with the Australian already being linked to Porsche's reappearance in the prototype ranks.

German newspaper Bild reports that Webber and Porsche have already had contact regarding a potential 2014 deal, and the Weissach marque has so far refused to deny claims linking it to the Australian, although spokesman Oliver Hilger points out that 'Porsche already has a squad of internationally successful works drivers' and 'to what extent additional drivers are added will be decided at a later date'.

Porsche's return to the prototype ranks in 2014, when it hopes to add to its 16 outright wins at Le Mans, is big news in sportscar circles, and the marque was first linked to Webber as early as last year. The Australian remains a contender for one of the two Red Bull seats in 2014, according to team owner Dietrich Mateschitz, but it has to be seen how long the strained relationship with Sebastian Vettel, and RBR advisor Helmut Marko, can continue after the 'multi21' saga that enveloped the end of the recent Malaysian Grand Prix.

Webber's career, of course, includes sportscar experience, having spent two years with the Mercedes works team before making the grade in F1. His relationship with Le Mans, however, remains unfulfilled, having been unable to race the CLR after having the car flip over in two separate sessions ahead of the 1999 race.

Porsche has still yet to confirm any drivers for its sportscar programme but, as Hilger has pointed out, it already employers an impressive roster of drivers, spread amongst various GT teams in Europe and America.


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