Mark Webber has said he is not feeling particularly emotional ahead of his final race in F1, although he did admit it will probably be different on Sunday when he steps out of his car following the season-ending Brazilian Grand Prix.
“I think on Sunday it will be a little bit different but it still feels like a normal race at the moment,” the Red Bull
Racing pilot told reporters on Thursday at Interlagos. “I'm looking forward to Sunday in many ways, in terms of obviously pushing for a good result, but also I'm ready to stop.
“I'm looking forward to the extended winter that I'll have and the new challenges around the corner [with Porsche in sportscars]. Getting out of the car Sunday there will be a few things that will be for the last [time] obviously in terms of F1, but I'm pretty relaxed at the moment and looking forward to the race.”
Asked what he will miss most, he replied: “There are certain situations in F1 that are super rewarding. Obviously driving the car on the limit at certain venues is still very satisfying, no question about it. You've got Suzuka, Spa, Monte Carlo, come qualifying day and even racing, at certain circuits it's very challenging and rewarding. So I'll miss some of that.
“But I'm on a little bit of a slippery slope now, in terms of… you've got to be careful not to test it too much in terms of performance and what you used to be able to do. I still think I'm driving well but I don't want to be around not driving well.
“So it's inevitable that you're going to miss certain parts, for sure the adrenaline and working with people like Adrian Newey. Stuff like that you don't get to do that often obviously. That'll be something I'll miss a bit. But there comes a time when you've got to let go and I'll still have good adrenaline next year obviously with Porsche and that'll be a good balance.”
As for what he won't miss – and if the media attention is one of those things, Webber said that the negatives obviously do now outweigh the positives.
“I wouldn't be leaving if there weren't things that I'm not happy to leave behind,” he added. “Obviously if there's more positives than negatives then obviously I would stay, so there's more negatives than positives for me. I want a fresh change, a new chapter in my life. Basically I'm ready for that, personally and professionally.
“Obviously the journos have to do their job. I have a good relationship with quite a few of them. Also the photographers for me have been very good over the years. Some of the snappers in the room here have been with me for my first test, for example in Estoril in 2001. You strike up good friendships with a lot of people, not just the drivers but other people.
“Obviously there's some shit magazines that have to do shit journalism and that's normal but in the end, you've got to deal with those as well. In general it's a good professional tennis match and that's how we always like to play it.
“The journos, I don't feel negative about the journos at all [overall], they're doing their job but sometimes they test you of course.”