Mark Webber on Life After Formula 1
The Red Bull Racing driver is looking forward to new challenges after calling time on F1 career.
After 215 races, Red Bull Racing driver Mark Webber bowed out of Formula One competition after the final race of the 2013 season at the Brazilian Grand Prix. But with a full sports car program with Porsche lined up for 2014, as well as his own adventure race, the Mark Webber Tasmania Challenge, kicking off this week, the popular Australian’s still going to be keeping himself busy.
Redbull.com: Mark, how does it feel to be leaving the F1 paddock?
Mark Webber: It’ll be a relief in some ways for that chapter to be finally over. F1 has been my environment for so long now but it’s time for a new challenge which I’m looking forward to. I’m not planning to revisit the F1 paddock too soon but on the two or three occasions I might do each year, I’m sure it’ll be in a more relaxed frame of mind.
How do you feel about the next chapter of your racing career?
I’m very excited about it. The first year will be different of course, different schedule, different type of racing, different people. But at this time of my career, it’s a perfect balance between adrenaline and working hard with a fantastic brand such as Porsche.
Outside of F1, one of your big passions has been adventure and fitness – will you be doing some more of that?
Well, the Tasmania Challenge is where I really got into adventure and fitness back in 2003. That’s still going strong and this year’s race starts on Wednesday. I won’t be there this time, because of team commitments, but adventure is a key part of what I am and so I hope we can continue to grow that event, and maybe others, in the future.
You are also mentoring young Mitch Evans – who incidentally is going to be competing in the Challenge this year. How do you think he’ll do?
In the Challenge, or in his career?! I think he’ll have a good time in the Challenge, but I’ve warned him it’s pretty tough. To race in GP2, though, you have to be pretty fit so he should do okay. In terms of his future, we’ll have to see but he’s going the right way about things and he’s knocking on the F1 door now. Next year could be a pretty big year for him.
How intense will your racing calendar be now, and how much time will you get to do more adventure stuff?
MW: I don’t know how the first year will go, so it’s a case of wait and see. But I do have an eye on a few events which I don’t have the motivation to do just yet but I’m sure I will once I have more time on my hand!
I’m looking forward to not having to rush to do things and trying to squeeze them in between my race schedule, and having the opportunity to do some great things with people I enjoy spending time with.
And finally, what will you miss about F1?
Driving the cars at some of the world’s most amazing circuits and the level of precision involved. But of course, I’ll be looking to take a lot of that with me to Porsche.