Red Bull’s unsettled driver Mark Webber is set to sign a five-year contract with a different manufacturer, according to reports from Radio Le Mans.
However, the Australian is not switching F1 teams, but has signed up with Porsche to take part in the once-a-year World Endurance Championship at Le Mans as part of Porsche’s move into the 24-hour race according to the report from the English-based station.
There are conflicting reports over the length of Webber’s proposed contract, with German publication Bild suggesting that it may be a three-year deal, but Webber remains tight-lipped, saying after the weekend’s Chinese Grand Prix: "I decide, as always, in the summer what I'm doing next year."
It had been claimed that Red Bull’s auxiliary driver was in talks with Porsche last summer, reports that Webber denied at the time, but following the controversy at the Hungarian Grand Prix when teammate Sebastian Vettel ignored commands from his team and overtook Webber to claim victory it was stated that talks were rekindled.
Webber has not made any statement regarding these new rumours, but a spokesperson from Porsche has denied the claims, stating: "We will use some of our own drivers and add some external drivers - we have two cars and need six drivers next year. There is a test plan, and for sure Mark Webber is not part of them.
"Yes, we can have perhaps some Formula 1 drivers in the future, but it is not necessary."
Webber’s contract with Red Bull ends at the conclusion of this season, with rumours around the Australian’s successor at the team suggesting that reserve driver Sebastien Buemi may be promoted or that one of Toro Rosso’s drivers Daniel Ricciardo or Jean-Eric Vergne may make the switch to drive alongside Vettel.