Mark Webber feels he may be calling time on his F1 career earlier than he needs to.
But the Red Bull driver says he is doing so to make the best of his impending switch to Porsche’s new World Endurance Championship team for 2014.
“I’m probably leaving F1 a year too soon but with the changes next season and the opportunity to join Porsche, it’s the best move for me,” he told F1 Racing magazine.
The nine-time race winner admitted he only recently began to understand what it felt like to lose motivation to compete.
“Questions keep coming to me more and more often that were never there in the past,” he said.
Webber said he had grown weary of the “travel and hotels” side of F1, which could have 20 races or more next year. “And probably the repetitive nature of the job,” he added. “A bit of media.”
“Lots and lots of small things that you’re happy to deal with when you’re bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.”
Webber entered F1 with Minardi in 2002 and scored his first victory at the Nurburgring in 2009 after joining Red Bull. The following year he led the championship standings for six rounds but slumped to third at the finale while team mate Sebastian Vettel scooped the first of three consecutive world championships to date.
EDITOR’S NOTE: NBCSN will air additional Dakar Rally highlights on Monday at 7 p.m. ET.
As it has done so for four decades, the 40th annual Dakar Rally – the most grueling test of man and machine anywhere – produced a number of surprise finishes and also several disappointments for drivers or riders who were expected to do well in the nearly 5,600-mile trek that began in Peru and continued through Bolivia and ending in Argentina.
NBCSN has aired highlights from all 14 stages (actually 13, because one stage was completely rained out) during the Rally’s two-week run, which concluded Saturday.
Here’s some of the “best of” highlights from the overall Rally highlights, followed by a quick guide that gives you wrapups to all 14 stages.
So, without further adieu, here’s NBCSN’s “best of” the 2018 Dakar Rally:
2018 Dakar Rally: Best of cars
2018 Dakar Rally: Best of bikes
2018 Dakar Rally: Best of trucks
2018 Dakar Rally: Best of quads
Lastly, here’s a day-by-day wrapup of how the Rally played out.
MORE: Dakar Rally daily stages schedule, NBCSN broadcast schedule, list of all competitors.
MORE: Stage 14 overall Rally wrapup
MORE: Stage 13 wrapup
MORE: Stage 12 wrapup
MORE: Stage 11 wrapup
MORE: Stage 10 wrapup
MORE: Stage 9 cancelled due to weather, impassible course conditions
MORE: Stage 8 wrapup
MORE: Stage 7 wrapup
MORE: Stage 6 wrapup
MORE: Stage 5 wrapup
MORE: Stage 4 wrapup
MORE: Stage 3 wrapup
MORE: Stage 2 wrapup
MORE: Stage 1 wrapup