Mark Webber has revealed that staying in Formula 1 in 2014 was never a consideration for him, even though he had options to remain in the sport.
The Australian will join Porsche’s new sports car program next year, bringing an end to his long career in F1. His current Red Bull team had intended to speak to Webber about his future over the summer, and other teams were understood to be interested in luring him. However, Webber said on Thursday at Silverstone ahead of this weekend’s British Grand Prix that offers in F1 were of no interest to him because he was determined to go and do something different.
In an interview that appeared on his official website that included a question asking if he had options to stay in F1, he said: “Yes, but since Formula 1 as a category wasn’t on my radar for 2014, they weren’t a consideration for me.”
Webber insisted that recent Red Bull controversies like the team orders affair in Malaysia had not influenced his decision, however.
“No, I’ve had a personal plan and I’ve stuck to it. This is the next chapter,” he said.
He added: “I never asked the team for more work but I’ve remained in touch with [Red Bull chairman] Dietrich Mateschitz over the last six to eight months and he’s been absolute quality for me. Going forward 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 also played down talk that he could return to F1 in the future, especially with F1 moving to new engine rules for 2014.
“I’d say it’s extremely unlikely, particularly given the new direction the category is going in,” he said. “You would be out of touch very quickly.”