29 Jun 2013

Webber takes Red Bull by surprise

7:00 am on 29 June 2013

Mark Webber caught his Red Bull team on the hop by announcing his departure from Formula One at the end of this season to race at Le Mans with Porsche.

Team principal Christian Horner told media at the British Grand Prix that his Australian driver had rung him, just before a Porsche statement was issued, to let him know of his decision.

Triple world champion Sebastian Vettel, the German who has been barely on speaking terms with Webber since a Malaysian Grand Prix 'team orders' controversy, found out a lot later.

Speculation linking Webber to Porsche first surfaced months ago.

He said rule changes for 2014, when a new V6 engine is introduced, had played a part in his decision, but he has also been complaining for much of this season about the current situation with tyres that don't allow him to race flat out.