If there's no rest for the wicked, there's surely even less rest for the wickedly fast. And make no mistake about it, Mark Webber is wickedly fast. He may not have proven able (or given the opportunity, depending on who you ask) to emerge from Sebastian Vettel's shadow after six seasons partnered with the multiple world champion at Red Bull Racing, but he's still won nine Formula One grands prix, to say nothing of the sports car races he won with Mercedes in the late 90s. But now he's leaving F1 to anchor Porsche's new LMP1 program, and according to the latest reports, he's departing Red Bull for Porsche sooner than expected.

Typically an F1 driver is obliged to stay with his team until the end of the calendar year – not just the end of the racing season – helping out with things like promotional events and fine-tuning next year's car. But news.com.au reports that Red Bull has given him early leave, so once the racing action in Brazil is done on Sunday, he's departing straight for Porsche's racing headquarters in Wiessach, Germany.

It won't be Webber's first visit to the facility, having already swung by to have his new seat fitted. But his early arrival will undoubtedly help him and Porsche get up and running ahead of schedule. The move may have been facilitated by a new sponsorship deal that could see Webber carry Red Bull with him to Le Mans, so don't be too surprised to see the energy drink company's logo on the side of the new Porsche once the new racing season gets under way next year, whether in concert with or instead of the anticipated revival of the Martini Racing livery.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      Steve K
      • 1 Year Ago
      I'm tired of the typical couch pilot internet motorsports poster who's intent on proving how little they know by being Webber detractors. I'd be surprised if most of them know anything more than the pretty colors on the cars. As someone with 2 national karting championships, an SCCA national championship, wins in FF1600 and 2000 in the U.S. and Europe, I know that you don't win races, even in a dominant car, without being a pretty damn good driver. Is Mark as good as Vettel? Probably not, but then again you could say that about all the other drivers on the grid save one or two. In fact, if you know anything about F1 you would know it's entirely possible the difference between Webber and Vettel was Mark's physical size. Mark is 6'1" tall, 165 lbs. Vettel is 5'9" and 127lbs. That near 40 lb difference enables ballast to be place right in the floor of the car giving the car a much lower center of gravity especially considering Mark's extra height which means the weight is carried even higher in the car. I'm not a huge Webber fan, but the haters are just being ridiculous and need to be put in their place.
        Alex Ingram
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Steve K
        Hear hear. If I'm being really pedantic I should correct you on Vettel's height - I've met him, and he's the same height as me, so 5'6".
        Kelly Hatcher
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Steve K
        I give you a plus 1 but you gotta admit his personality is DB to an extreme most of the time.
      • 1 Year Ago
      I am going to enjoy watching Webber in his new LMP1 Porsche. Hope they let him drive the Martini car, (I have had enough Red Bull, thank you.)
      • 1 Year Ago
      Happy Thanksgiving. You may want to take a look at the grammar on your title. It would seem to imply that Mark Webber received early clearance to leave Porsche, not join them.
        • 1 Year Ago
        Thank you for saying what I came in to say!
      • 1 Year Ago
      Typo: It's Weissach, not Wiessach
      • 1 Year Ago
      It looks like all the brilliant automotive journalists are out today critiquing AB. Here's an idea...find another site!!! PS Happy Thanksgiving.
      Aussie Aspie
      • 1 Year Ago
      " proven able " Take it from one of the few Aussies who doesn't think ALL our sports people are world beaters, just because they're Australian. Australia's cultural identity is deeply intertwined with its sporting identity ... and for that matter with its historical military identity, since many of us seem to think we won the First World War single-handedly! Webber was a great driver, as is anyone to qualify to race in F1 - they're on the top echelon as a group. But to continually bang on about conspiracies and luck going against him denies even the mere possibility he was just an average driver (by F1 standards) in a great car. To mention this man in the same breath as fellow Aussie 3-time world champion Sir Jack Brabham (or 1980 world champ Alan Jones) is a travesty of the highest order! Google Wayne Gardner, Australian 1987 500cc motorbike world champ, and you will see virtually everything said about Webber in regards to bad luck etc was also said about him also. The trend is obvious. Australians are poor losers, and when one of our own doesn't live up to our expectations, it's never their fault ... the blame always lies with others, by luck, design or both. Sad Australia ... really, really sad!
        Aussie Aspie
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Aussie Aspie
        It's 'little man syndrome'. With a population smaller than Texas, we need to keep beating our chest and telling the world how great we are, and sport is the most level playing field we can find to do it. Pathetic!
      • 1 Year Ago
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