Run-in with Vettel not a factor in leaving F1: Webber

Silverstone (England), June 27 (IANS) Formula 1 driver Mark Webber Thursday said his run-in with Red Bull teammate Sebastian Vettel during the Malaysian Grand Prix earlier this year played no part in his decision to leave the sport at the end of the year.

The Australian announced Thursday that he would leave Formula 1 at the of the season for sportscar racing in World Endurance Championship (WEC).

On March 24, Webber was leading the Malaysian GP at Sepang and was set for victory until triple World Champion Vettel defied team orders to hold position, and passed Webber for the win.

Asked if that incident had influenced his signing for Porsche’s sportscar programme from 2014, Webber said: “No, I’ve had a personal plan and I’ve stuck to it. This is the next chapter. Going forward I will remain tightly inside the Red Bull family, working with the brand and watching and supporting fellow Red Bull athletes push the boundaries.”

The 36-year-old stated on his official website that although he had options to stay in F1, the sport was never in his plans for 2014, adding that the chances of returning to F1 is “extremely unlikely”.

“I realise F1 is seen as the absolute pinnacle of motorsport and I’ve worked with some incredible people, in particular (Red Bull technical chief) Adrian Newey. I’ve driven in some of the toughest and most challenging conditions and circuits and against some incredible drivers which I’ll continue to do until the end of the year. Will I miss some of this? Yes, of course, but time doesn’t stand still for anyone and it’s time to move on to my next challenge,” added Webber.

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