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Thursday 8 December 2016

Mark Webber believes Formula One is in bad shape and revealed a number of drivers have been asking him about the increasingly popular World Endurance Championship.

Mark Webber believes Formula One is in bad shape and revealed a number of drivers have been asking him about the increasingly popular World Endurance Championship.

The 38-year-old former Red Bull driver stepped away from F1 in 2013 and has since been driving for Porsche in endurance racing.

Webber finished second in the Le Mans 24 Hours race last weekend, with the sister Porsche driven by current F1 driver Nico Hulkenberg taking the victory.

"The championship itself and Formula One itself is not in great shape," he said.

"I think we're disappointed with it as F1 fans. I am as a past driver and still very much a current observer of it and an educated eye. We all talk. All the drivers that I'm talking with."

"We're disappointed what's going on with the cars, the lap times, it's just not stimulating for the drivers and this is rubbing off, the fans can see this. Over the last five or six years, they've got many, many, many things wrong to try and make the sport better and it became a sniff too artificial."

Whilst Bernie Ecclestone and the other power-brokers in F1 try and address such issues, the endurance championship is going from strength to strength.

Webber is arguably the biggest name to move across from Formula One in recent years but the former Williams and Jaguar man insists others may follow having shown an interest in his career.

"I think the question is coming to us more, particularly Nico because he is still current obviously," Webber replied when asked whether more F1 drivers will be attracted to endurance racing.

"For me obviously, I was an F1 driver, I now just compete in this full time. But there are who are definitely looking at it, they are asking questions.

"Fernando (Alonso), Jenson (Button), Daniel Ricciardo, they are all asking: 'What is it like?' They are watching on TV, they see how sexy it is, how quick the car is and the race is - they can't ignore that.

"Yes, Formula One is still the alleged pinnacle which is fine but (endurance racing) does now have a bit more interest because of us, both us guys having a look and coming across at just how prestigious it is and how it is nowadays becoming the battle of these great manufacturers."

ends

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