Recently-retired race driver Mark Webber has been made an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) as part of the honors awarded on Australia Day.
Webber, 40, raced in Formula 1 between 2002 and 2013 before moving into the FIA World Endurance Championship with Porsche, becoming world champion in 2015.
The Australian announced last year that he would be hanging up his race helmet at the end of the season, turning his attention to his TV punditry work.
On Thursday, Webber was listed on the Australia Day awards’ list as receiving the country’s highest national honor for “distinguished service to motor sport as a competitor and ambassador, and to the community through fundraising and patronage of a range of medical and youth support organizations.”
“I didn’t expect it at all. It’s a bit of a surprise, but I think it’s an absolute honour to be recognized at that level,” Webber told News Corp.
“It’s been a long-term run over here. I left a long time ago, and it’s been nice to fly the flag. You don’t look back too much, but I hope I represented Australia as best I could.”