Mark Webber

Interview with Mark Webber
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M ark Webber can confidently be called a late entry into motorsport. As the son of a motorcycle dealer, the Australian, who was born in Queanbeyan, gained his first racing experience on two wheels before celebrating his kart debut in 1990 at the age of 14.

However, Mark Webber learned quickly and joined the Australian Formula Ford on. In 1996 the talented boy made the big leap to Europe. In the British Formula Ford, he finished his first season as runner-up. A year later, Webber switched to English Formula 3. Despite financial problems, the man from Down Under was able to finish fourth in the first season.

Mark Webber spectacularly at Le Mans

With his good ones Achievements in the formula series sparked the interest of the talent scouts Mark Webber. Mercedes AMG finally got the fast young man in 1998 and put him in the car with Bernd Schneider in the FIA ​​GT series. Webber should also prove his class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. But the relationship with the French classic was not meant to be a love affair: In 1998, the Webber, Bernd Schneider and Klaus Ludwig team had to give up after only 19 laps. The following year, Mercedes withdrew its cars after the Australian took off in training with his racing car on the long straight at over 300 km /h and rolled over twice.

The horror crash abruptly ended Mark Webber's sports car career the Aussie eventually returned to formula racing. After two years in the international Formula 3000 and one year as a test driver at Benetton, he finally entered the premier class at Minardi in 2002. At his home race, of all places, Mark Webber celebrated a furious debut: Supported by numerous failures by the drivers in front of him, the then 25-year-old fought his way up from 18th place on the grid to fifth. The two world championship points that existed back then should remain the only ones in the season.

Change to Jaguar and Williams

Mark Webber changed after his first Formula 1 season joined the newly founded Jaguar team for two years. The Australian had his teammates Antonio Pizzonia, Justin Wilson and Christian Klien largely under control, but it was not enough for more than tenth place in the World Cup. With the 2004 season, Jaguar ended its involvement in Formula 1 and Webber signed a two-year contract with Williams.

There Mark Webber actually wanted to follow in the footsteps of compatriot Alan Jones. As the last Australian, he had the 1980 with WilliamsCelebrate world titles. But there was not much progress for Webber at his new employer either. His team-mates Nick Heidfeld and Nico Rosberg ended up behind the Englishman by choice again, but still not enough for a place in the top ten with inferior material.

Two years of losing streak at Red Bull

After his two-year contract ended, Mark Webber packed his bags again in 2007 and docked with Red Bull. But even at his fourth station, the big breakthrough was a long time coming. Qualifying specialist Webber formed an experienced duo with Scotsman David Coulthard. In the end, however, in his first two years at Red Bull he was only able to make eleven and twelve in the final accounts.

During the winter break before the 2009 season, Mark Webber suffered another setback. The sports-loving Australian collided with a car and broke his leg in the endurance race 'Tasmanian Challenge', which he organized himself. As a result, he missed a few test appearances for Red Bull, but the start of the season opener in Melbourne was not in danger.

First victories and the fight for the title

Webber got Sebastian Vettel In 2009 an aspiring youngster was put aside. Thanks to a greatly improved car, the Australian was able to take first pole position and ultimately his first victory at Vettel's home race at the Nürburgring, of all places. In the end, there was even GP success number two in Brazil. Still, Webber had to tick off the season as a disappointment. In fourth place, he not only stayed behind the two Brawn competitors Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello, but also behind team-mate Vettel, who was runner-up.

In 2010, Mark Webber wanted to make the big attack on the title. But after bad luck and mistakes in the first races of the season, the Red Bull driver even considered retiring his career for a short time. When he suddenly led the World Cup table after victories in Barcelona and Monaco, the fire was awakened again. In the end it wasn't enough. A slip in the rain in Korea cost the World Cup lead. He also failed to shine in the season finale in Abu Dhabi, when teammate Vettel secured the first title for Red Bull with a win.

Vettel dominates the team duel

2011 was even more disappointing for Webber. With the momentum of the first World Cup title there was no herb against Sebastian Vettel. While his team-mate dominated the season at will, Webber struggled with the tires and the car. With third place in the World Cup, he was able to repeat his best placement, but the clear defeat in the team duel clouded the overall impression.

In 2012, Webber only played second fiddle within the team. It didn't look bad for the man from Down Under in between after victories in Monaco and Silverstone. ButWebber ran out of breath in the final sprint. In the end only sixth place in the drivers' standings - worse than it has been for four years.

(status 02/2013)

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