Mark Webber

From Academic Kids

Template:F1 driver Mark Alan Webber (born August 27, 1976) is an Australian Formula One driver.

He was born in Queanbeyan, New South Wales and currently lives in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, England with his girlfriend/manager, Ann Neal. With wins in the 1996 Formula Ford festival and the 2001 Monaco F3000 race to his credit, Webber signed with Mercedes and made his Formula One debut in Melbourne with Minardi in 2002, finishing with a 5th place result. He has had consistent top 5 performances in the one-lap qualifying throughout the 2003 season.

Webber started his relationship with sport young. He spent time as a child as a ball-boy for the premiership winning rugby league team, the Canberra Raiders, of the late 1980s. Like most Formula One drivers, Mark Webber's journey to the pinnacle of the sport began in karting. Various wins at Australian state level prompted a move into Formula Ford, where Webber scored several victories, including a win in the Formula Ford support race at the final Adelaide Grand Prix in 1995 and third in the 1995 Duckhams Formula Ford Festival at Brands Hatch on his international racing debut.

His potential apparent, Webber was quickly snapped up by the world's leading Formula Ford manufacturer, Van Diemen, to race in the 1996 British Formula Ford Championship – but not before he won the Formula Holden support race at the inaugural Melbourne Grand Prix.

Webber's first year of European racing was successful. He finished second in the British Formula Ford Championship with four wins and ended the season by winning the prestigious Duckhams Formula Ford Festival at Brands Hatch, joining the likes of Johnny Herbert, Eddie Irvine, Jan Magnussen and Jenson Button in the winners' circle.

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Mark_webber_williamsf1.jpg
Mark Webber

Days after his Festival victory, Webber completed a successful test with the Alan Docking Formula Three racing team and was asked to spearhead the team for the 1997 season. He won his fourth ever F3 race at Brands Hatch on his way to fourth in the championship. He also finished third in the annual Marlboro Masters at Zandvoort and fourth in the category's other blue ribbon event, the Macau F3 Grand Prix.

His Formula Three successes preceded a drive for AMG in the 1998 FIA GT Championship; Webber partnering reigning GT world champion Bernd Schneider in the #1 AMG Mercedes CLK GTR to five victories, losing out in the championship by just eight seconds after a thrilling final round at Laguna Seca in California.

Remaining with the AMG Mercedes sports car team, Webber began the 1999 season with number one driver status and his own car. The team's race programme for the year was severely reduced, however, before the season started when the FIA GT Championship was cancelled through lack of entries, leaving Mercedes to concentrate their efforts into a five race programme, including the 24 hours of Le Mans and selected rounds of the American Le Mans series. But the programme collapsed in spectacular fashion when Webber's car became airborne during Thursday's practice session at Le Mans, somersaulting several times before coming to rest.

A new car was built in time for Saturday's race but on Webber's first lap out of the pits in the morning warm-up session, exactly the same thing happened again—this time in full view of TV cameras, drivers and spectators. Webber was again fortunate to escape unharmed but five hours into the race, his team-mate, Peter Dumbreck, experienced an identical flip and Mercedes withdrew its remaining car instantly. The rest of the year's programme was shelved and the cars were never raced again.

In the wake of his Le Mans experience, Webber pushed hard for a return to single-seater racing, parting company with AMG and Mercedes. An introduction to fellow Australian Paul Stoddart by Eddie Jordan heralded a drive for European Formula Racing in the F3000 Championship. Despite his inexperience, Webber quickly surged into an unexpected early lead in the championship before eventually finishing third—the highest placed rookie in the 2000 series.

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Webber_usgp_2004.jpg
Mark Webber driving for the Jaguar Formula One team

After declining a contract with the Arrows team in July '00, Webber completed a three-day F1 test for Benetton at Estoril, topping the times ahead of Giancarlo Fisichella and Ralf Schumacher. His impressive performances for Benetton secured Webber the role of official test and reserve driver for 2001, a year that also saw him finish runner-up in the 2001 FIA International Formula 3000 Championship for Supernova.

With a move up to Formula One firmly in his sights, Webber's management successfully negotiated a drive with Paul Stoddart's KL Minardi Asiatech team for 2002. It proved to be a breakthrough year, Webber arguably proving to be the best of this season's four rookie drivers despite his underpowered car.

On his Grand Prix debut on home soil in Melbourne, Webber finished a fantastic fifth giving the Italian minnows their first championship points since 1999. In doing so, he become only the fourth Australian driver to ever score world championship points. He also comprehensively outqualified team-mates Alex Yoong and Anthony Davidson in every race of the season.

In 2003, Webber was the lead driver for the revitalised Jaguar Racing. Webber was remarkable in his first season with the team, scoring 17 of their 18 points, and placing 10th in the Drivers' Championship.

Webber made a great start to his 2004 F1 season, qualifying 6th and 2nd respectively in the first two races, though he was unable to finish either.

Webber has joined the Williams-BMW team for 2005. His team mate, determined under a controversial shootout with eventual test driver Antonio Pizzonia, is the German Nick Heidfeld.

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Webber_bmw_imola.jpg
Qualifying at Imola for the Williams-BMW Formula One team during the 2005 season

Season by season results

after San Marino Grand Prix (April 24, 2005)

Complete Formula One results

(Note: grands prix in bold denote points scoring races.)

Yr Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 Team
2002 Mina AUS MAL BRA SAN SPA AUT MON CAN EUR GBR FRA DEU HUN BEL ITA USA JPN     Mina
2003 Jagu AUS MAL BRA SAN SPA AUT MON CAN EUR FRA GBR DEU HUN ITA USA JPN       Jagu
2004 Jagu AUS MAL BAH SAN SPA MON EUR CAN USA FRA GBR DEU HUN BEL ITA CHN JPN BRA   Jagu
2005 Will AUS MAS BAH SAN SPA MON                           Will

A different Mark Webber is guitarist in the pop-band Pulp.


Constructors and drivers competing in the 2005 Formula One championship:
Ferrari BAR Renault Williams McLaren Sauber Red Bull Toyota Jordan Minardi
1 M Schumacher
2 Barrichello
3 Button
4 Sato
5 Alonso
6 Fisichella
7 Webber
8 Heidfeld
9 Räikkönen
10 Montoya
11 Villeneuve
12 Massa
14 Coulthard
15 Klien
16 Trulli
17 R Schumacher
18 Monteiro
19 Karthikeyan
20 Friesacher
21 Albers
de:Mark Webber

fr:Mark Webber it:Mark Webber pl:Mark Webber sv:Mark Webber

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