Webber’s helmetless farewell is classic F1

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Mark Webber may be heading into the Formula 1 sunset but he’s not leaving racing and that makes us happy. The Australian has always had an interesting, if not old-school, approach to F1 and his cool-down lap of the Interlagos track for the Brazilian Grand Prix was no different.

Webber removed his helmet, like the old days, and drove the car for the final lap. It’s great to see Mark throw down something old but new and while Sebastian Vettel and Felipe Massa were intent to do donuts, Webber was giving fans an opportunity to actually see the driver in the car…except it wasn’t easy to do as Mark told AUTOSPORT:

“It’s not easy to get the HANS device away from the helmet so I spent half a lap trying to get the left hand side off,” he said.

“I finally got it there but the cars are bloody noisy with no helmet on, I know that much…

“So it was really noisy, all the vibrations and you can hear lots of things that you don’t want to be hearing with the helmet on, that’s for sure.”

“In this sport, it’s not always easy to show the person that’s behind the wheel,” Webber explained.

“We can in lots of other sports but in Formula 1 we’ve always got the helmet on so it was nice to drive back with the helmet off.

“The only time you’re seen with the helmet off is on the podium if we have a good day.

“In the last sector, I got it a little bit jammed, so I think the marshals were a little bit worried that I couldn’t turn left but in the end, it was fine.”

That’s what we’ll miss most about Webber…his no-nonsense approach to Formula One. As NBC Sports host, Steve Matchett, said, when he was angry, we knew it. When Webber was happy, we knew it. He is a straightforward guy and that’s what we like most about him but his driving skills aren’t too shabby either.

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