Webber speculation grows despite Porsche denials

Mark Webber

Mark Webber

Porsche has denied reports it has agreed a five-year contract to move Mark Webber from Formula 1 to its Le Mans prototype project from 2014.

“This is wrong,” a spokesman told German newspaper Die Welt. “Mark Webber has not signed a five year contract with Porsche.”

“Porsche has a squad of ten highly successful works drivers, forming an excellent basis for the occupation of the LMP1 cockpits from 2014.”

He said finalising the prototype lineup is “not urgent”.

However, the paddock rumours – not only in Formula 1’s Shanghai paddock last week but also as the sports car championship raced at the same time at Silverstone – are strong.

Bild newspaper said Webber, 36, has already visited Porsche’s Weissach factory and agreed a three-year term, even if his actual financial retainer is still to be finalised.

Amid the Webber rumours, a team figure of the similarly Volkswagen-owned Audi camp at Silverstone admitted that Porsche “could go in that direction”.

And Derek Bell, a four-time Le Mans winner with Porsche in the 70s and 80s, told the Huffington Post at Silverstone: “I hear he (Webber) has gone.”