Mark Webber, renowned for his time in Formula One and competing at Le Mans, climbed back into his Le Mans winning Porsche 919 to demonstrate what it could do, seven months into his retirement.
When asked if his return to the car reminded him of what he missed, he replied stating, “To be perfectly honest mate, it reminded me why I’m happy to be out.”
“I’ve always been an outdoor man, I love nature; love being in the back country and being Australian that’s obviously synonymous with us.”
Having retired from racing, it has given Mark Webber more time to enjoy the things in life that travelling the world, racing at destinations year in, year out, have stopped him from being able to do.
It has also given the former Red Bull driver time to begin working on his own new business. Named after his social media handle, ‘Aussie Grit Apparel’ is a new sportswear brand. Launching in December this year, it is designed to appeal to those who prefer exercising away from the gym, in the great outdoors.
Mark told reporters that he is enjoying his new venture, and that it is good for his mind. “We’ve got a really exciting young design team in Australia and it’s coming together well. I’m visiting the factories looking at the stitch lines, looking at the motorsport learnings you know.” clearly using his need to pay attention to detail, alike the attention to detail he would have taken during his Formula One career on the far more complex cars.
In his step back from racing, he stopped attending a lot of the races on the Formula One calendar, and instead has notably (and fairly obviously) only attended both the Australian and British Grand Prix in the 2017 season. These two were attended mostly for commercial purposes, giving his expert views to fans of the sport at home on their televisions.
Webber concluded by talking about the accidents that he suffered during his racing career, and this left him in a reflective mood. “Naivety is a great thing, as it means you don’t ask whether this is a healthy thing to pursue. You have that drive and that passion to follow it because you don’t know how hard it’s going to be.” Following the crashes that he suffered, it is fair to say Webber came out the other side a wiser man, knowing that he could not have continued competing were it not for his love for the sport.
Webber’s character has been missed on the Formula One grid since his departure, but this does mean he is going to fade away like some before him. His new business will mean that he will remain on the radar, as well as his partnership with the watch company Rolex, and his other TV commitments.