“Lucky” Webber honoured to join Australian Motor Sport Hall of Fame

2017 F1 season

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Mark Webber said he was fortunate to be able to develop his motor racing career in Europe after being inducted into Australia’s Motor Sport Hall of Fame.

Webber, who retired from Formula One at the end of 2013, there’s “a lot of heroes of mine on the list” of Hall of Fame members. Among the others to have joined are Formula One championship Jack Brabham and Alan Jones.

Webber’s F1 career in pictures
“For me to join the list of the other inductees is very, very special,” said Webber.

He paid tribute to those who helped him establish himself racing in Europe. “I got lucky,” he said. “I managed to get myself over there and got a pretty good career out of it.”

“I had pretty great people around me as well – as with all these incredible careers and these stories you have good people in your corner, which I did, along the way.”

“It’s great to be recognised,” he added. “99% of my career was not done on Australian shores, I did a lot of my racing overseas, which clearly I’m very proud of. But it’s nice to be recognised for some of the results along the way. I’m honoured, no question about it.”

Webber won nine grands prix between 2002 and 2013. After leaving F1 he joined Porsche in the World Endurance Championship where he scored eight race victories and won the 2015 title with team mates Brendon Hartley and Timo Bernhard.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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6 comments on ““Lucky” Webber honoured to join Australian Motor Sport Hall of Fame”

  1. Not bad….

  2. A lot of Australian racing drivers go overseas early in their career with hopes of making it in the big time. Unfortunately, not through lack of talent but mainly through lack of money, most don’t make it and end up back in Australia racing things like touring cars which is by far the most popular category here and has been for at least 4 decades. But occasionally there are those who tough it out and do end up making it big. Jack Brabham, Alan Jones, Vern Schuppan etc (I didn’t include Geoff or David Brabham there because while they are top drivers, their last name and their dad’s influence did open more doors than normal). Mark Webber is one of those who toughed it out and made it to the top and as an Aussie myself I say congratulations on his induction into our Hall of Fame.

    1. @holdenv8 Very true what you say. The cost and logistical issues of living half a world away must make things very difficult for Australian & NZ drivers trying to make it big in Europe. In addition to those you mentioned there are lots of motorcycle racers such as Wayne Gardner (1987 500 cc Motorcycle World Championship), Mick Doohan (five consecutive 500 cc World Championships), Casey Stoner (two-time MotoGP World Champion), and Troy Bayliss (Superbike World Championship three times). And many more.

      In most cases they had to make big personal and financial sacrifices to reach the pinnacle of their sport. Stoner’s parents sold up everything to move to the UK to give Casey a shot at the big time – he was 14 years old.

      1. Unfortunately there just isn’t the home grown sponsorship dollars on offer for young Aussie’s and Kiwis to go over to Europe or even the US and be successful. Those who do make it certainly earn it and as you said, a lot of time they make huge personal and financial sacrifices to achieve it.

        Motor racing is a sport where money usually means more than talent. I’ve lost count of the number of drivers who have gotten a Formula One drive at the expense of someone who was actually worthy of being there simply because they had financial backing. When I grew up in the 80s watching F1, the back half of the grids were filled with drivers who had more money than talent (Huub Rothengatter, Alan Berg etc), but the team owners who didn’t really have the money to be there in the first place, needed their money so they got the drive.

        I remember former Channel 9 commentator Darryl Eastlake, he of the HUGE voice, saying at an Adelaide GP meeting in the early 90s that Larry Perkins had told him that the same people who were wasting money going nowhere in F1 when he was there in the 70s were pretty much the same people who were still wasting money and filling the back of the grid in F1 20 years later.

  3. Mark Webber is honestly one of my favorite racers of all time. He’s an incredibly humble chap that still tells it like he sees it, races really well, has been through some of the tough spots and managed to give Vettel a run for his money.
    Honestly, between Button and Webber, I prefer Button simply because I think he showed more guts than Webber did, but it’s not to say that Webber didn’t have any.
    Great driver, great man.

  4. On the topic of Webber, not to diminish his accomplishments, just because the opportunities to talk about him are probably running out.

    I’m really disappointed he never tested his mettle at Bathurst against the home grown crowd, especially after the WEC stint. Even just keeping up on pace leading to something like a top 10 finish at Bathurst could have cemented the legacy, and bolstered the reputation of the series as having world class drivers.

    Congratulations to him none the less.

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