Webber: Malaysia did not influence decision
27 June 2013 – Mark Webber says the 'multi-21' drama at the Malaysian Grand Prix had no bearing on his decision to leave Formula 1 at the end of the season, the Australian revealing that he stuck to "a personal plan" by joining Porsche's LMP1 programme.
Although options were available for Webber to remain in the sport beyond the 2013 campaign, the 36-year-old has instead opted to make a return to sportscar racing, insisting that the dramatic events at Sepang, where team-mate Sebastian Vettel claimed victory after repeatedly ignoring pit wall instructions, were not an influence.
"No, I’ve had a personal plan and I’ve stuck to it," he said. "This is the next chapter. The timing is perfect to join a fresh programme. It’s a sensational challenge and opportunity for my future to work with one of the most famous marques in motorsport."
The 36-year-old added: "I never asked the team for more work but I’ve remained in touch with [Red Bull team owner] Dietrich Mateschitz over the last six to eight months and he’s been absolute quality for me.
"I will remain tightly inside the Red Bull family, working with the brand, and watching and supporting fellow Red Bull athletes push the boundaries."
Webber added that a return to F1 would be "extremely unlikely" if an opportunity was to present itself in future years, alluding to the ever-changing nature of the sport.
"I’d say it’s extremely unlikely, particularly given the new direction the category is going in," explained the nine-time Grand Prix winner. "You would be out of touch very quickly."