Mark Webber
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Official Website: Webber-Racing.co.uk & Webber.Yellowpages.au
Place of Birth: Queanbeyan, NSW, Australia
Resides: Mursley, Bucks, UK
Status: Single
Height: 1.84m
Weight: 74kg
 Driver History
Mark Webber

Considering that, after three seasons in F1, Mark Webber's best result is the fifth place he secured in the Australian GP on his debut, it is somewhat surprising that so many F1 observers consider the amiable Aussie to be Michael Schumacher's heir apparent.

Fortunately for Webber, Sir Frank Williams is among those observers, and given a seat with one of 'The Big Three' it will be fascinating to see in 2005 whether or not Webber can justify his reputation as a star in the making.

Webber made his junior karting debut at national level when he was 15, and in 1992 became New South Wales State karting Champion.

He made his Formula Ford debut in 1994, and continued to make a name for himself with a series of impressive performances.

In 1996, Mark won the Formula Ford Festival, and finished second in the British Formula Ford Championship, driving for Van Diemen. His achievements led to him being voted Australian motorsport's 'Young Achiever' and 'International Achiever' of 1996.

Moving to F3 for the following year, Mark competed with Alan Docking Racing; taking five podiums and a win at Brands Hatch, before becoming Mercedes official works junior driver for the following year.

Webber took part in the 1999 Le Mans 24 Hour Race, with Mercedes, but his season with AMG was cut short when the company cancelled its sportscar programme. Mark Webber and Peter Dumbreck both spectacularly somersaulted their cars at Le Mans, though neither, thankfully, was injured. In 1999 he also made his Formula One test debut by participating in a two-day test with Arrows at Barcelona, in December 1999.

A busy 2000 saw Mark finish third in the F3000 Championship, driving for Eurobet Arrows, as well as acting as the official tester for the Arrows F1 outfit, although contract problems meant that he failed to drive the A21. He did complete a successful three-day evaluation test with Benetton however, and the team was quick to sign him up as their official 2001 tester.

In 2001, he battled it out with Justin Wilson in F3000 but had to make do with second place in the Championship. However with a Flavio Briatore contract in his pocket, many Australians held their breath that at last they were going to have their first decent Aussie driver in F1 since Alan Jones.

When he signed for Minardi for 2002 they got their wish - and more. A dream debut saw Rubens Barrichello and Ralf Schumacher take out a large proportion of the grid at the first corner in Melbourne and Mark Webber scrapped with Salo for a 5th place finish.

That was as many points as Minardi scored all year, but a 5th place was more than Toyota could manage in 2002.

A switch to Jaguar duly followed and Webber proved quick and quick to put new team-mate Antonio Pizzonia in the shade. Points were few and far between, and yet Webber finished the season with the reputation of a top-rate driver. He remained at Jaguar for 2004, but by the half-way stage, and the team falling a long way short of the performance-related clause in his contract, it was an open secret that he would be leaving at the end of the season.

The only question was whether it would be to Renault or Williams. Eventually, and in spite of a late big-money offer from Toyota, Webber plumped for Williams.

And after three years of impressing at the lower end of the grid, Webber is determined to make an immediate impact at the front with his new team.

"Straight away I want to be up the front - and that's what it's all about, that's what we're striving towards, is to win grands prix. Championships are even harder to get, I assume, but the wins are something which we have to look at immediately."

If Webber can match his words with deeds, Sir Frank will know that his does indeed have a star driver on his hands.



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