Mark Webber admits retiring from Formula 1 is a tough decision to make, and although he wants to time his exit properly he has no such plans on his agenda just yet.
Speaking in an interview with Red Bull motorsport website, Webber said, “You have to get the timing right. I’ve spoken to several great sportsmen and sportswomen about it, I know it’s a tough decision to make – tough because you can see it as giving up. Quitting. And that’s completely opposite to your nature and the thing that got you to where you are. It doesn’t fit comfortably with any of us. But I’m not there yet…”
Webber is only one of 13 drivers who have raced in 200 grands prix or more, and when asked if he would be targeting 300 starts he replied, “No. At the end of this year I should have… 215. 300? No way.”
Asked about the ingredients required for a driver to have longevity in such a highly competitive enviroment, he explained, “Desire. Discipline. Application to your job. Staying healthy. Staying fit. Tolerance for certain parts of the job that you don’t enjoy.”
“I enjoy it when I’ve got my helmet on and when I’m working with the guys in the garage, figuring things out about the car. The other stuff: media, PR, that’s something you’ve just got to manage,” added Webber.
Reflecting on the highs and lows of his 200 races, Webber recalled his best moments, “It’s got to be the wins. The first win especially. Victory at the Nürburgring in 2009, in a race where I had a drive-through penalty, that was unique. A big moment in my career. A big moment in any driver’s career.”
“Aside from that, I’d say the Monaco wins [2010, 2012] are the ones you take the most away from. They were very different races: 2010 was littered with safety cars. In the end it didn’t matter – though it would have been nice to know how much I could have won by without the interruptions.”
As for the biggest downers he said, “The low points stand out too. The crash in Korea  was one and there’s a couple of others where things slip through your fingers. Melbourne  in the Williams was one of those: podium for sure and then the gearbox shits itself…” (GP247)