Mark Webber admits that he is partly relieved to have reached the end of his F1 career following the conclusion of the 2013 season in Sao Paulo.
The Brazilian Grand Prix marked Webber's final outing in the sport before he makes the move to sportscar competition next year, with the Australian following team-mate Sebastian Vettel home in a 1-2 finish for Red Bull – giving the 37-year-old his 42nd podium finish in his 215th and final race start.
Webber will now form part of Porsche's return to top level sportscars next year with its new LMP1 programme and while excited about the future, he admitted that he was partly glad to be leaving the F1 paddock.
“I'm very excited about it,” he said of the move. “The first year will be different of course, different schedule, different type of racing, different people but at this time of my career it's a perfect balance between adrenaline and working hard with a fantastic brand such as Porsche.
“It'll be a relief in some ways for that chapter [F1] to be finally over. F1 has been my environment for so long now but it's time for a new challenge which I'm looking forward to. I'm not planning to revisit the F1 paddock too soon but on the two or three occasions I might do each year, I'm sure it'll be in a more relaxed frame of mind.”
Webber was speaking ahead of the latest edition of his Swisse Mark Webber Tasmania Challenge, which will get underway later this week.
While Webber won't compete in the event himself this time around, he said he was hopeful that the endurance event would help raise funds for a number of charities supported by the Foundation that bears his name.
“This year's race starts on Wednesday,” he said. “I won't be there this time, because of team commitments but adventure is a key part of what I am and so I hope we can continue to grow that event, and maybe others, in the future.
“I always like to keep tabs on how plans are developing through the year and I've talked over the course with the event guys down there. It takes a route around North Western Tasmania and sounds awesome so I'm gutted I won't be able to give it a go. It's a beautiful part of Tasmania and I'm actually very jealous of the guys who are going to get to race out there!
“So far we've raised over AUD$1.5m through the five Challenges we've run so far. In the last few years we've been supporting the Save the Tasmanian Devil Appeal and children's charity Whitelion, and the funds have helped both charities make some real progress.”