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Webber in no mood to slow down after Formula One

8 November 2013
Red Bull Formula One driver Mark Webber of Australia races during the Abu Dhabi F1 Grand Prix at the Yas Marina circuit on Yas Island, November 3, 2013. REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah
Red Bull Formula One driver Mark Webber of Australia races during the Abu Dhabi F1 Grand Prix at the Yas Marina circuit on Yas Island, November 3, 2013. REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Mark Webber has no intention of coasting when he calls time on his 12-year career in Formula One at the end of the season and is determined to put Porsche back on top of the podium at Le Mans sooner rather than later.

The 37-year-old Australian revealed in June he had signed a multi-year deal to race for the German marque in the World Endurance Championship, the centrepiece of which is the 24-hour endurance classic in France.

And while Webber said he would miss Formula One - although not perhaps his Red Bull team mate Sebastian Vettel - his competitiveness nature will not allow him to slow down.

"I've got those memories. They're great and I really enjoy having those," he told Australia's Channel 10 TV.

"But to look at the next chapter, I can't put my feet out of bed each morning with no super purpose - I still need to do something. I can't turn racing off and just finish."

Webber has twice been entered to race Le Mans but failed to complete a lap. His engine failed in 1998 and in 1999 his Mercedes flipped into the air twice in practice and the team withdrew for safety reasons.

Porsche's record at the Circuit de la Sarthe is much better with 16 wins, including seven in a row from 1981 to 1987.

EMBRYONIC STAGE

Audi have dominated since the turn of the century, though, and Webber's new team will have their work cut out on their return to the top class next year.

"I am looking forward to this embryonic stage to them returning to the race in which they have been so successful in the past," Webber said.

"They've got the record for the most wins at Le Mans and I am looking forward to working with them in the future and keeping my adrenaline ticking over."

To add a Le Mans success to his twin triumphs in one of motorsport's other great races, the Monaco Grand Prix, would be some achievement, he thought.

"I love that circuit, I love driving at night to the limit," he added.

"It's human nature to want more, obviously I want to win Le Mans, to put that with the Monaco ... that would be nice.

"Whether one is enough there, maybe I want to grab a few. But of course you've got to get the first one done, which won't be easy.

"So that's the first goal, to win Le Mans, win that outright down the road. And then we'll go from there. Still enjoy the race"

(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney, editing by Patrick Johnston)

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