Horner wishes Webber well for the rest of 2013

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After it was confirmed earlier today that Mark Webber would be leaving Red Bull Racing and Formula One altogether at the end of the season, team boss Christian Horner has been among the first to wish the Australian driver the best of luck for his future endeavors.

“We support Mark’s decision, he has been an excellent addition to the team since joining us in 2007 and we wish him all the best in the next stages of his career,” Horner said in a team statement.

During his seven seasons with Red Bull, Webber has won nine races and three constructors’ championships, making him a valuable addition to the setup at Milton Keynes.

However, since the multi 21 fiasco in Malaysia, the exit has always appeared to be looming for Webber, and he will now join Porsche’s WEC and Le Mans team for 2014. Horner was sure that this was not a decision that Webber had taken lightly.

“I am sure Mark thought long and hard before making what has no doubt been a very difficult decision.

“His achievements in Formula One are extensive and I am sure he will continue to push hard and build on that record until the end of the season.”

Webber has not won since last year’s British Grand Prix, yet one may expect him to be pushing even harder for a 3rd victory at Silverstone this weekend.

Here’s who were picking to win the Indy 500 — who are YOU picking?

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Several members of the NBC Sports motorsports staff have made their predictions on who will win Sunday’s 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500.

Of the six voters, two are going with 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series champ Josef Newgarden, while two others are going with Helio Castroneves to win a fourth 500, which would tie him with A.J. Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears.

Here’s our picks. Who are YOU picking?

Leigh Diffey: Helio Castroneves — He drives the place better than anyone else. For me (for what its worth) he deserves a fourth 500 ring for the frustration he went through never getting the IndyCar title!

Townsend Bell: Josef Newgarden

Nate Ryan: Simon Pagenaud — All of his 2018 misfortune on the track has disappeared in May, and it culminates in the biggest victory of his career.

Jerry Bonkowski: Helio Castroneves – There’s no pressure as he pursues his fourth Indy 500 win. All Helio has to do, as late NFL owner Al Davis would say, is “Just win, baby!” (But if Helio falls short, watch for Marco Andretti)

Kyle Lavigne: Josef Newgarden — I think he has everything he needs to get it done this year.

Dan Beaver: Robert Wickens – Has driven like anything except a rookie and his second-place finish at Phoenix proves he’s just as good on an oval as the road courses.

Follow: Jerry Bonkowski