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Farewell Webber - Alonso, Newey, Vettel & more on 'Aussie Grit' 22 Nov 2013

(L to R): Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari and Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing.
Formula One World Championship, Rd14, Korean Grand Prix, Race Day, Korea International Circuit, Yeongam, South Korea, Sunday, 6 October 2013 Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari F138 gives Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing a lift home.
Formula One World Championship, Rd13, Singapore Grand Prix, Race, Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore, Sunday, 22 September 2013 Dr Helmut Marko (AUT) Red Bull Motorsport Consultant and race winner Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing celebrates at the podium.
Formula One World Championship, Rd6, Monaco Grand Prix, Race Day, Monte-Carlo, Monaco, Sunday, 27 May 2012 Dr Helmut Marko (AUT) Red Bull Motorsport Consultant and Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing. 
Formula One World Championship, Rd 17, Korean Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Korea International Circuit, Yeongam, South Korea, Saturday, 23 October 2010 Red Bull Racing have helped Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing celebrate his last European Grand Prix with a photographic look at his career history. Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren with Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing. Christian Horner (GBR) Red Bull Racing Team Principal with Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing.
Formula One World Championship, Rd12, Italian Grand Prix, Preparations, Monza, Italy, Thursday, 5 September 2013 Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing and Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing in the Press Conference.
Formula One World Championship, Rd17, Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Race Day, Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, UAE, Sunday, 3 November 2013 Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing sprays champagne in the face of Adrian Newey (GBR) Red Bull Racing Chief Technical Officer on the podium.
Formula One World Championship, Rd16, Korean Grand Prix, Race, Korea International Circuit, Yeongam, South Korea, S (L to R): Christian Horner (GBR) Red Bull Racing Team Principal, Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing and Adrian Newey (GBR) Red Bull Racing Chief Technical Officer.
Formula One World Championship, Rd1, Australian Grand Prix, Preparations, Albert Park, Melbo (L to R): Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing with David Coulthard (GBR) Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Toro Rosso Advisor / BBC Television Pundit.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 12, Belgian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Saturda

This weekend’s Interlagos race marks the end of a 12-year Formula One career for one of the most liked and respected drivers in the paddock. As Red Bull’s Mark Webber prepares to bid for one last F1 triumph in Brazil, we speak to some his closest colleagues about why the straight-talking Australian will be sorely missed…

Fernando Alonso, Ferrari:
“Mark is a great talent - as a driver in Formula One he has achieved some very interesting things and as a person he is a great sportsman. I respect him a lot - and that goes for inside and outside the paddock. He is a driver, how should I put it, of the ‘old school’, with an immense love and passion for motorsport, with a great talent and with a huge sense for attacking. We will miss him in Formula One, as the new generation of drivers is different - I would not say better or worse, just different - and that’s why we all will miss this ‘old school’ style of a great colleague.”

Dr Helmut Marko, Red Bull motorsport consultant:
“Mark was involved in the winning of four constructors’ titles with Red Bull Racing and made a significant contribution to these wins. But probably more important was his input for the development of the team and the development of Sebastian (Vettel) as a driver. At the beginning, at many tracks he was often faster than Sebastian and so was a benchmark for Sebastian. That was not easy to crack, and the fact that in the end it did not work out for a title for him had many causes. But that is all water under the bridge now.

“As a person Mark has huge fighting spirit. I remember Fuji 2008: the evening before the race Mark was eating fish and in the race he felt like death warmed up and was even throwing up. He wanted to stop, but overcame that situation and continued, which showed his immense willpower. He was in P2 at that point - with a good chance of winning the race - when during a safety-car phase Sebastian hit his rear and he was thrown back to P8. I think in the end that was the catalyst to the difficult situation between Mark and Sebastian. Mark had his first Grand Prix win within reach, he had overcome a serious health issue by literally clinching his teeth, and then was robbed of the win by his team mate. That sure was hard. Since then they’ve had a constructive relationship, but for sure no more.

“I take my hat off to him for his decision to stop Formula One now - when he is still on top of his game. Too many drivers wait until they are down and out and being asked to leave. I am sure he will be very successful in his new assignment at Porsche. All the best for you, Mark.”

Christian Horner, Red Bull Racing team principal:
“Mark is a tough competitor, a committed racer, a determined character and he deserved all the success that he’s achieved in Formula One. It will be difficult getting used to not hearing the word ‘mate’ on the team radio next year. We will miss him - he’s a real racer.”

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull Racing:
“I have an enormous respect for Mark on the track. On a personal level there have been things exaggerated in the media about our relationship that have not been as strenuous as reported. I always thought that if you look at other team pairings, there are far worse ‘couples’ than we’ve been in terms of mutual respect. You could argue that we are of different generations, so as a result we haven’t been best friends. But that is never the task: to find a best friend in your team mate. We have won four constructors’ titles together for Red Bull Racing and that should be remembered. I am sure in his new role with Porsche he will be a tough competitor as he was in Formula One and I wish him all the best.”

Adrian Newey, Red Bull chief technical officer:
“I have hugely enjoyed working with Mark. The amount that he has contributed to the team is underestimated at times and his driving feedback has been very valuable - along with Sebastian’s. I would not like to put one above the other - both have contributed a lot on how we build the car. I will miss Mark’s contribution in terms of feedback on the car. He obviously came very close to winning the championship in 2010. If we had stayed on Michelin or Bridgestone tyres, then maybe he would have won. He has never been really able to adapt his driving to the Pirelli tyres as Sebastian has. Will I miss his feedback next season with all the changes that are coming along? Probably, yes. But things change so fast in Formula One - nothing stays constant for a long period - so hopefully Daniel (Ricciardo) will come out with the same valuable feedback. Who knows? I wish for Mark that he will win Le Mans. I know how much that would mean for him.”

David Coulthard, former Red Bull Racing driver:
“Well, as team mates you have good, not so good and everything in between relations. A good relationship with a team mate is when you have a quick team mate. I have tremendous respect for Mark. He always had a great speed in the car. Obviously he has met his match in Sebastian. The thing that Mark leaves as a legacy in Formula One is that he has always been professional and was always prepared to say what he was thinking - even if it wasn’t always politically correct - so he was ‘old school’ in that respect. He almost won the championship - but almost is not enough. Nevertheless, my feeling is that the paddock is sad to see him go.”

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