Webber a world champion at last


Former Formula 1 driver Mark Webber won the world endurance championship in Bahrain on Saturday with Porsche team mates Brendon Hartley and Timo Bernhard.

The Australian, who left Formula One at the end of 2013 after Red Bull team mate Sebastian Vettel had won a fourth successive championship, took the title after his number 17 Porsche finished fifth in the Six Hours of Bahrain.

The Australian-New Zealand-German trio, who had to make two unscheduled pitstops, prevailed by five points to became Porsche’s first world sportscar champions since 1986.

The Bahrain season-ender was won by the number 18 Porsche of Switzerland’s Neel Jani, Germany’s Marc Lieb and Frenchman Romain Dumas – a victory that ensured the title for the sister car by denying rivals Audi.

“We had a lot of problems and it was very stressful. We got the car home and we had enough points and enough wins to be world champions,” said Webber.


While the Australian was savouring the moment, Vettel was also triumphant in London – winning the Race of Champions individual title in the event at the Olympic Stadium.

Webber made 215 grand prix starts, in a Formula 1 career which began at the 2002 Australian Grand Prix and ended at the 2013 Brazilian Grand Prix. He scored nine wins and 42 podiums during this period.

The Australian, known for his True Grit, never won a F1 world title but did finish third on three occasions – in 2010, 2011 and 2013.

Webber and his teammates, Hartley and Bernhard, won the 2015 WEC title despite a DNF in Round 1, but bounced back with third place at Spa-Francorchamps, then by second place at Le Mans and then four wins in a row – Nurburgring, Circuit of the Americas, Fuji and Shanghai – followed by fifth in the season finale to claim the title.