Mark Webber’s career in video (Part 1)

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Webber impressed with Jaguar in 2003 and 2004

F1 Fanatic guest writer Journeyer revisits Mark Webber’s F1 career to date.

If there’s one man heading to the Hungarian Grand Prix on a high, it must be Mark Webber. His first Grand Prix win in Germany puts in a good position for the championship. But to get there, he took a long, hard road. Let’s take a look back at the rise of Mark Webber.

1999: The first time many would’ve seen Mark on TV was during his sole run at Le Mans this year. But his run will probably be remembered for his car somersaulting in the air three times during the weekend. It happened with Mark during practice and warmup, and it happened to his teammate Peter Dumbreck in the race.

2000: After Mercedes decided to shelve their Le Mans program, Mark returned to single-seaters. After pestering Eddie Jordan, Mark was introduced to fellow Aussie Paul Stoddart, who not only gave him an F3000 seat in the European Arrows F3000 team, but also gave him his first F1 test with the Arrows F1 team in December 1999. He was the best of the rookies in F3000 that season.

2001: Mark decided to move to the more successful Super Nova Racing team for his second season of F3000, aiming to win the title. By this time, he was now testing for Benetton rather than Arrows, thanks to new manager Flavio Briatore. Mark won some races, and lost in others in spectacular fashion – here’s his crash at Eau Rouge at Spa.

2002: Mark’s F3000 run was good enough to convince Stoddart to give him a ride in his newly-owned European Minardi F1 team that season. Not only did Mark handily beat Alex Yoong, he also had a magical debut in Australia. The young Aussie driver in the Aussie-owned team finished fifth in Melbourne. The crowd went nuts.

2003: His great run at Minardi helped him seal a deal with Jaguar for two years. Mark was excited at the chance of driving a faster car, but the Jag never really lived up to its full potential. He had a big shunt that year in the messy Brazilian Grand Prix – with Fernando Alonso following his lead and causing the race to be stopped.

2004: His entire 2004 season could be summed up in one race weekend, and that was the one in Malaysia. He came out of nowhere to stick his Jaguar second on the grid – an amazing effort, as you’ll see below. But at the race start, he couldn’t find a gear and dropped to the midfield. He had so much bad luck that day, his race duly ending in the gravel trap long after he dropped out of contention.

Webber thought he had the potential to do so much better. Tomorrow we’ll look at how he got into the team where he finally broke his victory duck.

49 comments on “Mark Webber’s career in video (Part 1)”

  1. That crash at Brazil in 2003 was incredible. Very big shunt indeed. And Alonso’s was possibly even more violent, but I still think Fernando should have received some kind of punishment for that, since he was running way quicker than the 2 drivers (Fisichella and Räikkönen?) passing the scene of Webber’s accident before Alonso.

    1. Casino Square
      23rd July 2009, 11:16

      I agree- speeding under the yellow flag is probably the most dangerous thing you can do in F1, given how exposed the marshals are. If there had been people on the track while Alonso was losing control, there could have been a really nasty accideent.

    2. He did receive a punishment, didn’t he? broke his butt :)

      1. Got his first podium, though, which does not seem like much of a punishment to me.

  2. Great Story from Mark Webber. for Jenson and him the wins and success seem to be well deserved since they’ve been doing it for a while, and finally got where they wanted to be. i think this what makes true champions, those who come and win in 1 or 2 years time on the grid are not mature enough to really appreciate it. unless they win it 7 times, then you learn to appreciate by default….or not

    1. nick heidfelds time soon surely…

      1. true. it took nigel mansell 5 years to win his first grandprix & a further 7 years to win his only WDC. even Mika hakkinen falls in the same category, it took him 6 years to win his 1st gp. unlike shoemaker,hamilton,villeneuve these true champions know what it really takes to win a championship. i think webber deserves more victories.

        1. A bit unfair to put Schumacher with the others — unlike Hamilton and Villeneuve, it’s not like he didn’t have to prove himself in a lesser car first!

  3. Well, it seems that this year is the year of great comebacks for some great talents-like Button and Webber, true racers indeed. Great to see that kind of opposition for geeky youngsters like LH and Vettel, already acting like superstars.They survived the hard times and hard teams, and they deserved some good luck. Go Aussie!

    1. any 30+ driver who wins a race this year would have truly deserved it. unlike hamilton & vettel. these young guys are just too lucky. thats all. poor nick i really hope he wins, its been 10 years since he’s won a race. last one came at a junior level formulae in 1999. geeky & hotheaded these youngsters are. true.

  4. yeh, i hate how everyone goes on and on about how awesome hamilton is (particularly from non-true f1 fans) and it annoys me that great drivers like button and webber have never been in the best car on the grid for 2 years running like hamilton has from day one. the true champions are the ones who work tirelessly for it and work their way up from the bottom. hopefully red bull and brawn trade championships in the form of button and webber (heidfeld too) for the next 5 years.

    1. first of all i’m a mclaren supporter, i’ve been one since is started watching formula 1.i’ve come to the conclusion that hamilton is a mediocre driver, no where comparable to senna. this year was the perfect opportunity to put to rest some of the criticism he was under. people went about saying he good cuz the car is gud. yes i’m forced to draw the same opinion. if he were a really outstanding genius(as he’s been labeled) driver, he would have done what senna did in 1993. that mclaren mp4/8 was as bad if not worse than the current mp4-24. it had no active-suspension,traction control, was powered by a second class ford engine, yet senna managed to win five races, including the famous on at donington park & what did hamilton do? told a satanic lie in Australia, blew it in china(the so called wet weather master) no where to be seen till now. he might never get a change to drive an under-performing car ever. mclaren will see to it. lewis has blown his chance to show to the world that he’s gud even if has bad equipment to drive. he’ll be best remembered as just a lucky guy, at best like villeneuve jr. he’s not a genius on 4 wheels as previously thought. just an other guy, who happened to be at the right place at the right time.

      P.S.—————–>>> i’m a mclaren supporter

      1. I have to disagree with you there as he won every single seater championship in his early years where everyone had the exact same equipment: F. Renault, F3 GP2.

        1. But Lenny, Ron always ensured he was in a front-running car. This is the first time Lewis has really had to deal with a subpar car. Give Lewis a good car, and he’ll deliver the goods. But the best drivers do well even in subpar cars. Good examples are Senna in 93, Schumi in 96, and Alonso last year.

          1. In ’93 and ’96 aero meant little to what it means today and alonso’s wins came from having the 3rd best car and a little bit of luck. what about silverstone last year and fuj 07. I’m not taking anything from alonso, senna or schumi either.

          2. Silverstone 2008 and Fuji 2007 both came in front-running cars. Remember, Ayrton’s winning margin in Donington 1993 was bigger than Lewis’ in Silverstone 2008 – and we all know what kind of McLaren Ayrton had under him that year.

      2. Very well said

      3. thats realy unfair, you say that hamilton didnt prove himself in a slower car, then where are the drivers who did prove themselfs in a slower car like alonso, kimi, massa, they are all in the same position as hamilton. Its very difficult to win a race when the guy in the best car is doing a good job. alot of people say vettel proved himself last year but Vettel’s torro rosso was not the slowest car on the grid when he won in monza, he had alot of luck in that race weekend.

        In hamiltons defence, if you look at coments left by strongly involved f1 people, eg, brundell, esscelone, schumacher, they all believe that hamilton is driving the wheels off the mclaren this year. he is driving briliantly. even championship leader button personally thinks that hamilton is performing better than anyone else on the grid including himself.

        ok if you think that hamilton had it easy from the begining, it was because he earned it, he earned it before he came to f1. dennis saw his potential and capitolised on an opportunity and it paid off. if you question dennis judgement on hiring hamilton then you are an idiot! Ron has alot of experience in f1 and finding f1 drivers, alot more that some guy sitting behind a computer screen.

        ok now you say that hamilton is a average driver! He beat the world champion in the same car in his rookie year, if that isnt an achievement then i dont know what is, what second driver has beaten the first driver in there rookie year?

        1. thats realy unfair, you say that hamilton didnt prove himself in a slower car, then where are the drivers who did prove themselfs in a slower car like alonso, kimi, massa, they are all in the same position as hamilton.

          as i said, for alonso, see last year. for kimi, see 2003, where he was 2 points short of winning the title in the 3rd fastest car. for massa, see 2005, where he dragged his sauber up the midfield to scoring positions that car didn’t deserve to have.

          Ron has alot of experience in f1 and finding f1 drivers, alot more that some guy sitting behind a computer screen.

          explain then why he hired and fell out with kimi, montoya, and alonso in a span of 3 years?

          ok now you say that hamilton is a average driver! He beat the world champion in the same car in his rookie year, if that isnt an achievement then i dont know what is, what second driver has beaten the first driver in there rookie year?

          he was very good in 2007, true, but i think he has lost form since then. he should’ve walked his 2008 title with a very fast car, but he struggled to win it. has lewis improved, or fallen back?




    1. Cheesy Rickroll…

      1. is that Antony Davidson dancing? the song is really nice!! but Bye Bye i think has posted a wrong link. i’ve checked everywhere including & autosport, nowhere does it mention that webber is retiring. is it really true? i dunno why he would want to retire when he’s just won his 1st race a fortnight ago. strange.

        1. err…it is quite obvious that the link was a prank making you go to the link to watch something else

    2. but the dance was really ridiculous!

  6. Mark Webber doesn’t race in F1- it’s an imposter. He actually works at the Carphone Warehouse in Swansea.

    1. He’s not Paul Potts, is he? ;)

      1. Superman!!

  7. Mark sounds very ‘European-speaking-English’ in that 2000 interview. Very strange.

    1. i think he’s been living in europe for a very long time. or is it because he drinks too much of that energy drink!!

  8. I remembers ridculous qualifying performances in the Jaguar. Incredible

    1. adrian newey was supposed to leave mclaren at the end of 2001. but he didn’t. if he had moved on to jaguar, webber i’m sure would have had many more victories to his credit.

  9. “webber es alonso brutalis balesete” google translator failed.

    1. Brutal accident, I believe

  10. dont the old v10’s sound awesome…

  11. Too many crashes, too many mistakes. He is not reliable at all. The media is playing him up (just like Button) because of the large English-speaking F1 audience.

    1. mm i dont know about that, he is getting alot better and I would rather say he had lots of bad luck… Anyway lets see what happens in the future

      1. Yeah, I agree. The most unluckiest driver on the grid. Always seems like a real nice bloke and I think the Vettel team-mate this year has really fired a rocket up his backside.

        I hope he continues to do well and Red Bull keep winning races – their car is by far the best looking one this year! :)

    2. and how many crashes has he had this year now he has a reliable car?

      1. also less crashes because he doesn’t have to push at 110% just to get into the points anymore.

  12. Casino Square
    23rd July 2009, 15:10

    Seeing these pictures/ videos reminds me how great the Jaguar livery was. I especially liked ’04 one (see the pic at top) with the red flashes. It was miles better than most of the ’09 colour schemes. The current BMW, Toyota, Williams or Brawn liveries are all boring. But perhaps I have bad taste- I like the ’09 Renault!

  13. The BBC has said that Webber has a new contract for Red Bull for next year. Good for him I say, he really deserves it.

    1. yes…Mark is a good driver and does deserve to be in F1. However, please note that he has agreed to a 1 year extension. This is what Red Bull wanted. Mark rather wanted a multi-year deal perhaps to close out his career with Red Bull.

  14. Too many crashes, too many mistakes. He is not reliable at all. The media is playing him up (just like Button) because of the large English-speaking F1 audience.

    I disagree with you there F1Fan, Im an Australian but no means a Webber supporter (although good on him as he is aussie) We have a running joke that Webber would be at the start of the grand prixs his car would be on fire or some other bad luck.. he has just bad luck, and if you think he crashes too much have a look at Massa, Hamilton or any f1 driver, they all have their bad days.. and im a fan of Massa also!

    Well done Webber.. and lets hope Felipe gets his groove on for the rest of the year!

    1. Michael,

      it’s not bad luck. Most drivers have had their fair share of bad luck, like, say, Kimi. How many times did he suffer a car problem that either robbed him of a win or points ? Webber is quick, that I agree on. But there is a lot more to it. He doesn’t have, or at least he hasn’t had up to now, the level of mental concentration that’s required of a consistently good driver, and hasn’t shown the ability to correctly judge and react to a racing situation. He is awkward, though quick. If he was really good, but just unlucky, one of the major teams would have signed him by now, even on a 1-year contract. But they have not, because they see all of what is mentioned above.

  15. I had forgotten that the Le Mans car flipping incident was Webber. Very scary.

  16. F1FAN, so the sledger has got to “though quick”. It is like seeing your favourite bully having his teeth pulled and we Webber fans are enjoying it!

  17. F1Fan, His lack of mental concentration used to cause his car to breakdown?

  18. f1 fan i agree with the top 2 comments

  19. Terry Fabulous
    24th July 2009, 12:17

    I was there at Albert Park when he won in 2002!

    Ok, he actually came 5th but as far as the crowd was concerned, it was he that was the winner. At the end, everyone ran out on the track… to the Mindardi garage not the podium!!
    So cool

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