Following the series of mishaps afflicting Mark Webber’s Chinese Grand Prix over the weekend, including the inadequate amount of fuel that was placed in his car during qualifying, which led to him starting the race from pit lane, one might easily think the Aussie is ready to quit his Red Bull Racing team.
There’s a lot of speculation suggesting Webber is about to do just that, along with announcing a new deal with Porsche that will see him drive for the German automaker in its assault on the 24 Hours of Le Mans next year.
In fact, Radio Le Mans reported today that Webber had already signed a five-year deal with Porsche.
However, nothing could be further from the truth, said Porsche R&D boss Wolfgang Hatz during a recent interview with Auto Action.
"We still have plenty of time to decide our driver line up,” Hatz said. “There is a test plan, and for sure Mark Webber is not part of them.”
At the same time, Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner has vehemently denied that there was a team conspiracy against Webber. He’s also revealed that investigations were underway at the Red Bull team to determine the cause of the recent problems afflicting Webber’s performance.
Webber has been closely linked with Porsche for several years and even bought a 911 GT2 as one of his personal cars. He’s also no stranger to Le Mans racing, having piloted a Mercedes-Benz CLR prototype at the famous race more than a decade ago.
If Webber does join Porsche for this Le Mans campaign next year, he wouldn’t be the first F1 driver to move to endurance racing. Just this season Brunno Senna went from racing for Williams in F1 to racing an Aston Martin Vantage GTE in the World Endurance Championship.