Webber had a future in F1, says Horner

Fri Sep 20, 2013 7:42am EDT
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By Christophe Vanderperre

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Mark Webber could have stayed in Formula One and challenged for grand prix victories for several more years had he not "fallen out of love" with the sport, according to Red Bull team principal Christian Horner.

Australian Webber, 37, announced in June he was leaving the world champions, winners of the last three constructors' titles, at the end of the season to join Porsche in their Le Mans sportscar program.

"Mark's chosen to leave and only he knows the full reasons behind that," Horner told Reuters ahead of Sunday's Singapore Grand Prix.

"In terms of his performance and capability, I think he could have done another couple of years, but I think he's fallen out of love a little with Formula One."

Webber, winner of nine races in seven seasons with Red Bull, has been eclipsed by triple champion team mate Sebastian Vettel since the German took his first title in 2010 and their relationship has been frosty.

The Australian will be replaced by compatriot Daniel Ricciardo next year.

"He (Webber) has decided to take on a new challenge in sportscar racing and he has always had a passion for that kind of racing, that's where he came from to Formula One, and he's chosen to pursue his career in that direction," said Horner.

"Could he have stayed in Formula One for another year or two? He is fit enough, he is quick enough, I would have thought he could have."   Continued...

Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner looks on during the second practice session of the Italian F1 Grand Prix at the Monza circuit September 6, 2013. REUTERS/Max Rossi