ON LIFE AFTER FORMULA ONE

AFTER 12 YEARS OF F1, THE FIRST FEW MONTHS IN SPORTS CAR RACING WERE A BIG TRANSITION FOR ME, AND A COMPLETELY NEW EXPERIENCE. THERE WAS PLENTY TO LEARN WITH PORSCHE, BUT IíM NOW 100 PERCENT COMFORTABLE.

Mark Webber

The biggest surprise was how much I enjoyed sharing the car with other drivers.

That said, I found it tough in the beginning not being able to get my own momentum going with car set-up. After so many years racing my Ďowní car, working around the needs of two other drivers in car #20 Ė team-mates Timo Bernhard and Brendon Hartley Ė was a new challenge I had to manage. It meant having to compromise with things like seat and pedal positioning, and in particular some aspects of the set-up related to individual driving styles.

The team spirit in our car is quite exceptional.

We help each other to the maximum and thatís really refreshing and something Iím enjoying.

Unlike F1, the rivalry between the drivers and engineers of one car and those on the other side of the garage is virtually non-existent; the manufacturers donít want to encourage too much internal competition that could hurt their overall goals. However, I think this year weíll see a bit more rivalry between the Porsche 919s, like with Audi and Toyota, where there is a healthy intrateam rivalry.

There is also a healthy level of respect between There is also a healthy level of respect between the manufacturers, which is a breath of fresh air in comparison to the Formula One pit-lane.

When our mechanics managed to get the #14 car back out on track towards the end of the race at Le Mans, the other teams applauded as the car crossed the finish line, which was a real highlight for me. Everyone knows what itís like to get a car home and how much effort goes into putting this race in particular together. Itís emotional, everyone is tired and itís a gruelling event, so it was very moving to see such a reaction.

As a team we learned a tremendous amount in our first year, scored five podiums and a win.

Overall, Porscheís return has been successful and we can certainly hold our heads high.

Driving current-era sports cars is very rewarding. The speeds are high and we have to be consistent. The demands on the drivers are high and you need to be extremely versatile.

Unfortunately, the category is difficult for people to follow. For fans to understand the strategies of the teams can be challenging. Not everyone has the time or inclination to watch the strategies unfold.

I think it would be a win-win if the teams were more forthcoming with communication during the race by releasing more information on whatís happening , obviously without giving the chess match away.

We need to help the fans watching on TV at home in 2015. * In addition to undertaking his second WEC season with Porsche, Mark this year joins the Network Ten commentary team, which has reintroduced its RPM program and added V8 Supercar telecasts to its F1 and MotoGP coverage.

A highlight for me was when the other teams applauded as our car crossed the line g g

WATCH WEBBER'S RETURN TO LE MANS.

Use the free viewa app to scan this page and watch the video.

Dan was the Man

DANIEL Ricciardo had an exceptional debut year with Red Bull Racing. Three victories in his fi rst season with a top team is a brilliant feather in his cap.

Mercedes clearly had a big advantage, but when they had problems, which wasnít often, Daniel was there to capitalise.

He looked comfortable racing at the front with the top guns, which was unknown territory for him, and not something you fi nd out about until youíre thrust into it.

I didnít watch all the races, but it seemed that when I did, Daniel did well, so Iíll be watching more this year!