Mark Webber: No decision yet on 2014 plans
Amid rampant speculation on his future, Mark Webber says that he is yet to solidify any plans for 2014.
Reports that the 36-year-old will leave Formula 1 post-season in order to join Porsche’s new-for-2014 Le Mans prototype program intensified this week with claims that he has already signed a five-year deal with the German manufacturer.
Porsche quickly denied that it has approached Webber and subsequently announced existing factory drivers, Timo Bernhard and Romain Dumas, as the first signings for the LMP1 project.
Although Porsche has 10 factory drivers on its books, only a select few are expected to join the Le Mans effort.
Webber is preparing to start his 200th Grand Prix in Bahrain this weekend, and responded to the rumours in the Sakhir paddock.
“I have made it clear in China that I have not made any plans of my future and you can ask anybody in my camp if we do know what I am doing next year – we don’t,” he told the official Formula 1 website when asked of the speculation.
Webber starts the weekend with a three-place grid penalty thanks to his collision with Jean-Eric Vergne in China last weekend, but is optimistic of his chances.
“I think we should be pretty quick here, but I also expect that we will have some strong opposition – as we had at the first three races,” he said.
“In Melbourne, Malaysia and China we had different people being quick and have seen tight races.
“For us, as I just said we should be pretty strong here – whether it is enough to have a more comfortable scenario as we did in Malaysia in terms of pace remains to be seen.
“Remember Kimi (Raikkonen) qualified 12th last year and nearly won the race – so it seems everything is possible these days.”
See below for Speedcafe.com’s Bahrain Grand Prix Race Guide featuring a look back at the 10 greatest moments of Webber’s F1 career so far