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Mark Webber

Formula 1 driver

Mark Webber
Credit: Getty
Vital statistics for Mark Webber
BirthplaceQueanbeyan, New South Wales, Australia
Born27 August 1976
F1 debutAustralian Grand Prix, 2002
Recent fastest laps
2013Brazilian Grand Prix
Japanese Grand Prix
Hungarian Grand Prix

Mark Webber's long experience in F1 (debuting in 2002 with Minardi) did not turn to winning until he joined the Red Bull Racing team. However, despite winning races with the Austrian squad, he still had to play second fiddle to triple world champion Sebastian Vettel. He kept himself in contention for titles but couldn't overcome his German teammate. At the end of 2013, Webber announced he would retire from Formula One, switching to endurance racing and retiring completely in 2016.

F1 biography

Mark Webber had to fight hard to get into Formula One, growing up in the depths of Australia where motorsport wasn't that prevalent. He started out on two wheels but moved to karting at the relatively late age of 14. He accelerated quickly through national Formula Ford and headed to Europe to continue his development.

Webber joined the Arrows F1 team as a test driver for the 2000 season, whilst also racing in a junior category. He was tested for a position with Benetton, but eventually made his F1 debut in 2002 with the Minardi team. At his first race, he finished fifth but it was the only points finish of the season.

For 2003, Webber joined Jaguar where he stayed for two years racking up the occasional points finish. In 2005, he moved to BMW Williams where again he stayed for two years - this time picking up his first podium position, finishing third in Monaco 2005. After a string of retirements at the tail end of 2006, Williams decided not to take up the option on Webber's contract, and so he moved to Red Bull for the following season.

Thus began a long relationship with the team, seeing off several other teammates before being partnered with Sebastian Vettel. Initially a good relationship, Webber was soon demoted to the number two driver role which caused friction and open hostility between the two. Webber always took the moral high ground, however, doing as the team asked and completing the job asked of him.

Although there have been tensions in the past, Red Bull have always supported Webber, even through some difficult injuries. Ahead of the 2009 season, Webber was involved in a mountain bike accident as he took part in his Tasmanian-based charity event. He sustained a broken leg but pushed his recovery at every stage so he could return to the car in February testing.

Initially, Webber was linked with a move to Ferrari, where it was considered he would make an excellent second driver to Fernando Alonso. However, at the end of 2013, Webber confirmed his retirement from the sport moving instead to endurance racing with the Porsche squad. After success with the team, he confirmed his intention to retire from racing altogether at the end of the 2016 season. He joined the Channel 4 UK F1 coverage during the year and will continue his media commitments alongside being an ambassador for Porsche.

Learn more about Mark Webber with the Pocket F1 Handbook.