Webber had options to stay in Formula 1

Mark Webber

Mark Webber

In the wake of his announcement that he intends to quit Formula 1 at the end of 2013, Mark Webber admitted that he could have remained another year if he had wanted to.

The 36-year-old Australian announced earlier that he is leaving Red Bull and retiring from the category at the end of the year to join Porsche’s new Le Mans foray.

Asked if he had options to stay in F1, Webber told his own website: “Yes, but since F1 as a category wasn’t on my radar for 2014, [it wasn’t] a consideration for me.”

The 9-time grand prix winner, and veteran of more than 200 races, said he opted for Le Mans and Porsche for a new challenge, but he hinted that he does not like the direction in which Formula 1 is headed.

Asked if he might return to the grid in the future, he answered: “I’d say it’s extremely unlikely, particularly given the new direction the category is going in. You would be out of touch very quickly.”

Webber also denied that the ‘Multi-21′ affair, or his fractious relationship with teammate Sebastian Vettel, had swayed his decision.

“No, I’ve had a personal plan and I’ve stuck to it. This is the next chapter,” he said.

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner on Thursday agreed that Webber’s decision to go was the driver’s call.

“I am sure Mark thought long and hard before making what has no doubt been a very difficult decision,” he said.

Red Bull said it will name Webber’s 2014 replacement “later in the season”. (GMM)

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