Mark Webber says he made a ‘mistake’ in moving to the Williams team in 2005.
The 30-year-old, who will switch to Red Bull after Sunday’s Brazilian grand prix, admitted to Australian newspapers that Flavio Briatore advised him against signing for the now-embattled Grove squad.
“I know I made a costly mistake by not listening to him,” Webber confessed on Wednesday.
He suggested that he will not miss Williams, for whom his countryman Alan Jones won the world championship in 1980.
“I’ve learned that reputations mean nothing,” said Webber.
“Smarter and cleverer people do come along and do things differently and better.”
The Australian has previously said that he turned down the plum Renault drive last year, and added that manager and Renault chief Briatore advised him this time around to leave Williams and return to Milton-Keynes.
He continued: “I wasn’t going to ignore his advice a second time.”
Webber raced for Jaguar in 2003 and 2004, before it was bought by the Austrian energy drink.