Mark Webber, is he leaving?

14 Apr

Today following the Chinese GP rumours burst out alluding to the idea of Mark Webber joining Porsche next season. Lets look deeper into it and find out some more information.

So what is the rumour exactly?

Well it was broken by @F1Kate almost immediately following the race saying “Don’t know if this has done the rounds on Twitter yet, but the talk in China is that Webbo has signed a 5-year sportscar deal with Porsche.”

So what evidence is there for this happening?

Well on the face of it it appeared to be just another F1 rumour, a bit early for the silly season but that wasn’t seen as a problem. It wasn’t until @GTPorsche, the twitter account of a monthly Porsche magazine that it started to look true, they tweeted:

  • “To clarify, our sources tell us Mark Webber has agreed a 5 year deal to race for Porsche – not us, we’re a mag – in its LMP1 car from 2014”
  • This was met with scepticism:
  • “And yet you clearly haven’t checked if your ‘sources’ are reliable! Just let me ask this; what sort of magazine are you? Geez…”
  • But then @GTPorsche replied:
  • “we’re a mag with a very good source and have sat on the story until the F1 paddock started talking about it this morning,”

I don’t know about you but to me that pretty much says he’s definitely moving.

Wow, so what is the LMP1?

The LMP1 is Porsche’s attempt to return to the WEC (world endurance cars)  and so is therefore a Le Mans car, Porsche will start showcasing the LMP1 mid 2013 with it’s racing debut in 2014. This would make the signing of Mark Webber a massive coo for the team and will get it some good publicity.

For more info on the LMP1 go here!

What do you think caused this move?

Well Webber isn’t a young driver and it’s been a regular feature of the season for everyone to expect his retirement over the last few years, but also he hasn’t had much support from Red Bull recently, they sided with Vettel in the Malaysia incident then there has also been the 2010 Abu Dhabi GP and the incident  at the 2010 British GP when he wasn’t given the latest updates to the car.

So who do you expect to replace him at Red Bull?

Well lots of names have been mentioned: Kimi Raikkonen has recently had a lot of rumours around him about a move to Red Bull; also there’s the Toro Rosso due of Jean-Eric Vergne and Daniel Ricciardo; Red Bull’s newest protege Antonio Felix Da Costa and Nico Hulkenburg’s name has also been bandied around.

Of those I’d say the favourites were Raikkonen and Ricciardo, Raikkonen is quicker, but he would also want equal treatment with Vettel. Whilst Ricciardo isn’t as quick at the moment but he may have the potential, also he’ll be more willing to move in as a definite number 2.

But of course since this hasn’t been confirmed it could still be a rumour, this isn’t likely but there is still a chance.

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