Meanwhile, Kimi Raikkonen is likely to fill Webber's seat at Red Bull. The team originally wanted to pull Jenson Button from McLaren, but was unable to lure the British driver from his seat. Toro Rosso drivers Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne are other possibilities for the open slot at Red Bull. You can read the brief Porsche press release on the move below for more information.
Mark Webber, new Porsche LMP1 driver
World Endurance Championship and Le Mans 24 Hours
Stuttgart. The Australian Formula 1 pilot Mark Webber has signed a contract with Porsche that extends over several years. From the 2014 season he will compete in Porsche's new LMP1 sports prototype at the Le Mans 24 Hours and in the sports car World Endurance Championship (WEC). The 36-year-old Australian has already raced at Le Mans twice. In 1998, he finished runner-up in the FIA GT Championship at the wheel of a sports prototype. Over the course of his Formula 1 career from 2002 until today, Webber has achieved 36 podium places, nine race victories and has started from pole position eleven times.
"It's an honor for me to join Porsche at its return to the top category in Le Mans and in the sports car World Endurance Championship and be part of the team. Porsche has written racing history as a manufacturer and stands for outstanding technology and performance at the highest level," says Mark Webber. "I'm very much looking forward to this new challenge after my time in Formula 1. Porsche will undoubtedly set itself very high goals. I can hardly wait to pilot one of the fastest sports cars in the world."
"I'm very pleased to have secured Mark Webber for our LMP1 project as one of the best and most successful Formula 1 pilots of our time," says Wolfgang Hatz, Board Member for Research and Development at Porsche AG. "Mark is without doubt one of the world's best race drivers, he has experience at the Le Mans 24 hour race and on top of that he's been a Porsche enthusiast for many years."
"I learned to appreciate Mark's qualities when we were both involved in Formula 1," says Fritz Enzinger, Head of LMP1. "He is one of the best pilots I could imagine for our team. I'm absolutely delighted that we have such an experienced and fast regular driver onboard from 2014."
Competing in the new LMP1 car alongside Mark Webber are the two long-standing Porsche works drivers Timo Bernhard (Germany) and Romain Dumas (France) as well as the ex-Formula 1 test driver Neel Jani (Switzerland). Bernhard and Dumas already joined forces in 2010 to bring home overall victory from the Le Mans 24 hour race. In the years 2007 and 2008, they secured the American Le Mans Series title at the wheel of the RS Spyder LMP2 sports prototype. Neel Jani has contested the LMP1 class since 2010.
About Porsche Motorsport North America
Porsche Motorsport North America (PMNA), located in Santa Ana, California, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Porsche AG and the sole sales and service provider for the German sports car maker's North American customer sports programs. Porsche is the largest manufacturer of race cars with a wide range of products from the 911 GT3 Cup car to the ultimate 911 GT3 RSR. PMNA sells these models to customer teams in North America and provides them with parts, service and expertise in between races and at the track. The PMNA service truck is a fixture at most race tracks in the U.S. and Canada, staffed by factory engineers to service all of Porsche's customer teams.
About Porsche Cars North America
Porsche Cars North America, Inc. (PCNA), based in Atlanta, Ga. is the exclusive U.S. importer of Porsche sports cars, the Cayenne SUV and Panamera sports sedan. Established in 1984, it is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Porsche AG, which is headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany, and employs approximately 220 people who provide parts, service, marketing and training for 190 dealers. They, in turn, work to provide Porsche customers with a best-in-class experience that is in keeping with the brand's 63-year history and leadership in the advancement of vehicle performance, safety and efficiency.
At the core of this success is Porsche's proud racing heritage that boasts some 30,000 motorsport wins to date.