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Seeing as though the you have to be among the best drivers to make it to F1 anyway, I think there's no shame in being a tier 2 F1 driver. Only a very few can be considered to be the best (technically only one but the way F1 works we never really know who is really THE best) and to be just behind that group is not a disqualification of any sort. It wasn't quite enough to win a championship but winning 9 races including Monaco twice ain't too shabby.
I think Mark made a really realistic and pragmatic decision, he could have stuck around in F1 but there's almost no way he would have been able to maintain or improve upon the achievements he already has had in F1 so I think it's as good a time as any to quit now and not be too old to be one of the leading drivers for Porsche in sportscars in the coming years.