Webber will cut off all ties with F1 after he retires because…
AS MUCH as he loves driving, Mark Webber does not want to have anything to do with the sport after he retires.
“It’s a new chapter after you’re done driving in F1. I haven’t thought so much of what I would do after F1, but it’s definitely not here,” the 35-year-old Red Bull driver, who is currently fourth in the drivers’ championship standings with 182 points.
“Now I enjoy the driving but, when the day comes and I’m not driving, I’ll go and do something different. Why? Because of the politics – I really don’t like it. If I could change one thing about F1, it would have to be the politics and also the media. We have to say the same things over and over again!”
The sport was plagued by a huge political wrangling in 2009 when controversy between the F1 teams and the Federation Internationalede l’Automobile (FIA) almost led to a breakaway championship. Such issues only serve to damage the sport, and the drivers and teams bear the brunt of it.
On the track, Webber gives of his best whenever he races and he acknowledged that last year was probably his best chance of winning the world championship. With five pole positions and four wins last year, he last led the drivers’ championship at the 2010 Korean Grand Prix. For the last four races of the 2010 season, Webber raced with a fractured shoulder sustained during a mountain bike incident which he kept from the team.
He would have won the title if he had won the finale at Abu Dhabi with Fernando Alonso (Ferrari) finishing no better than third. Eventually, Webber finished third and it was his teammate Sebastian Vettel who won the final race along with the championship.
“Obviously, the results were close and it was disappointing. It took me a while, a few weeks, to get hold of the fact that I was so close to the World Championship, only for it not to happen,” lamented Webber. “Well, in the end, I’m still proud of what I achieved. I’ve pushed very hard and done many many things that other people could not have achieved, so I’m very proud of what I did. Yes, of course, I think last year was my last chance at becoming world champion.”
It has been a difficult season for Webber who has yet to win a race. With Vettel holding such a commanding lead, Webber is happy to settle for second best.
“Sebastian is probably going to win the championship, so the goal for me would be to finish second. The team have not done that before – to finish 1-2 in the drivers’ championship,” said Webber. “To win the championship you need 100 per cent from the team. I think it’s difficult for the team to give 100 per cent to both drivers as we are both demanding.
“Looking at the start we actually got, it’s clear where the support needs to go and I respect that in some way. The team have given me a great opportunity to do well. I ask for a reliable and strong car every weekend and I will give my best. The team know I always give my best.”
It was announced last month that Webber has extended his contract with Red Bull Racing for one more year to the end of 2012. He said: “You can expect a stronger performance from me next season and I hope to get a smooth start like we did in 2010. For now, I just want to finish it as strong as I can and get some good results.”
*This was first published in The New Paper.