KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA - OCTOBER 02: Mark Webber throws the shoe of Daniel Ricciardo of Australia and Red Bull Racing out into the crowd from the podium during the Malaysia Formula One Grand Prix at Sepang Circuit on October 2, 2016 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

Former F1 driver Mark Webber has received one of Australia’s greatest honours when he became ‘Officer of the Order of Australia’ in today’s Australia Day honours.

Webber, who retired from Formula One at the end of the 2013 season before returning to the le Mans Championship, was proud to be honoured and admitted that he didn’t have a clue that it was going to happen…

“I didn’t expect it at all. I didn’t think there would be anything coming along,” he told News Corp. “It’s a bit of a surprise. But I think it’s an absolute honour to be recognised at that level.”

Webber is based in the UK where he has been for some time now, however that doesn’t mean he doesn’t think of his native Australia all the time….

“It’s been a long-term run over here. I left a long time ago, and it’s been nice to fly the flag. You don’t look back too much ... but I hope I represented Australia as best I could.”

Mark retired from racing altogether at the end of 2016, but remains in an Ambassador role with both Porsche and Red Bull.

“I’m still extremely busy. I’m based out of the UK but I’m still true blue and remind people of that whenever I can,” he said. “It’s very easy to stop in the car and do nothing, but I think it’s good to keep testing myself.”