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Continued: Red Bull driver Mark Webber leaving Formula 1 after the season to race Porsche sports cars

  • Article by: MICHAEL CASEY , AP Sports Writer
  • Last update: June 27, 2013 - 4:35 PM

Vettel, who has clashed several times with his teammate over the years, had nothing but good things to say about Webber. He acknowledged they are not "best friends and probably never will be" but that there could have been "worse couples."

"I have enormous respect for him on the track but I think, off track, a lot of it has been hyped more than it should have because there hasn't really been that much going on," Vettel said. "If you look at other team pairings, I think there's worse couples than us in terms of mutual respect."

Porsche hailed Webber as "one of the best and most successful Formula One pilots of our time."

"I learned to appreciate Mark's qualities when we were both involved in Formula One," said Fritz Enzinger, head of LMP1. "He is one of the best pilots I could imagine for our team. I'm absolutely delighted that we have such an experienced and fast regular driver onboard from 2014."

He has raced twice before at Le Mans, including in 1999 when he had a horrific crash in which he went airborne, flipped and ended in a grove of trees.

"I'm very much looking forward to this new challenge after my time in Formula One," Webber said in a statement. "Porsche will undoubtedly set itself very high goals. I can hardly wait to pilot one of the fastest sports cars in the world."

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