Red Bull Racing's Mark Webber has decided to call time on his F1 career and will quit at the end of the 2013 F1 season, it has been claimed.
According to reports by British tabloid newspaper, The Daily Star
, he has 'confided in close friends' about his intentions and he is 'already making plans to leave Britain... to return home to Australia'.
“He has had an unhappy working relationship with his team-mate - and triple world champion - Sebastian Vettel [for a while]. The pair have hardly spoken since their problems at this year's Malaysian Grand Prix, when Vettel ignored team orders to pass Webber, denying him a 10th career win. But that hasn't played a major part in Webber's decision, as he simply feels it is time to call time on his 14-year F1 career,” the report in the 'paper says.
“The Aussie [has also] never lost his love of endurance racing and could be tempted to have another go at Le Mans once he leaves F1,” it adds.
Webber was linked to Porsche in the aftermath of the race at Sepang in March, as the Weissach marque will return to the prototype ranks in 2014, when it hopes to add to its 16 outright wins at Le Mans. Porsche, however, subsequently denied the speculation [see separate story
], while Webber insisted last month that he is in no rush to make a decision about his future.
“Year by year, that's how it's always been for me, so come the summer, I will talk to Dietrich [Mateschitz] and then go from there. If I'm driving well, performances are good, then we'll make some decisions in the future but at the moment, it's the second or third race and I've never ever made decisions on my career at this point in the season,” he said prior to last month's Chinese Grand Prix.
“Obviously it's a bit of a topic at the moment for different reasons, but I don't see why I should make any decisions at the moment for the future.”
It remains to be seen if anything has changed since then, and how close to the truth the report is, is debatable to say the least.