Webber elated with “awesome” first WEC victory

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NÜRBURGRING – Mark Webber made no secret of his elation after claiming his first FIA World Endurance Championship victory in the 6 Hours of Nürburgring on Sunday.

Webber walked away from Formula 1 at the end of 2013 to join Porsche’s LMP1 programme, but failed to grace the top step of the podium in his first 11 races with the team.

On Sunday at the Nürburgring, the Australian driver played an instrumental role in the no. 17 crew’s victory, racing alongside Brendon Hartley and Timo Bernhard as they lapped the field and claimed a comfortable victory.

Speaking to MotorSportsTalk after the race, Webber was delighted to have broken through with his first win in the WEC after an impressive display.

“Yeah awesome mate,” Webber said when asked how he felt. “It went well. I think that the whole race was – after Timo’s early issue at the start, after that it was sensational.

“I’m of course personally very, very happy that it ran smooth and the car got home with no issues and I got on the middle step with Timo and Brendan.”

Webber claimed his first F1 victory at the Nürburgring back in 2009, so it was perhaps fitting that his maiden WEC success came at the same track.

“I’ve had some good battles here, obviously the win in ’09 and 2011 with Fernando and Lewis was a really big race that one as well,” Webber said. “It’s been a good one for me. A lot of good results here to stand on the middle step a few times.

“In their own backyard, a lot of history with Porsche, obviously [has] a lot of great victories in the past, 1000km races.

“What a big crowd today, it was an awesome event. I don’t think anyone could believe how successful the event went.”

When asked to compare his first wins in both F1 and the WEC, Webber said that although his maiden grand prix victory meant more, Sunday’s win felt more like a team effort.

“I think in F1, my first win was massive,” Webber said.

“Obviously this is more of a team feeling of course, there’s a lot of satisfaction because of the contribution that you feel you’ve helped with the team obviously, with all of us we do that.

“But Formula 1 obviously, personally… it’s hard to compare to your first Formula 1 victory, that was certainly a very big day.”