F1 Career Stories – Mark Webber

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Mark Webber’s Formula 1 career started in 2002 when he made his debut for the Minardi-Asiatech F1 Team. His career started in fine fashion where he took 5th place at his first and home grand prix in Australia, scoring 2 points. However after this, his season took a turn for the worse after that whereby reliability issues with the car and it’s uncompetitive nature meant that Mark was unable to score any more points that season, his best other result coming in the French Grand Prix, where he took 8th place.

By 2003, Mark Webber had left Minardi-Asiatech and moved to the Jaguar-Cosworth F1 team. However he endured a poor start to the season where he had to wait until the 5th round of the season in Spain to even finish a race. There however he scored 2 points for a 7th place finish. After that, Webber had a successful year, where in every race that he finished, he scored points on all bar two occasions, leaving him with a total of 17 points at the end of the season leaving him in 10th place in the drivers’ championship standings.

2004 and another year driving for the Jaguar-Cosworth F1 team. Fluctuating form was the story of the year in 2004 for Mar as he endured more retirements from races, however strong qualifying performances showed that the car wasn’t completely off the pace. He qualified as high as 2nd at the Malaysian Grand Prix but it took him until Bahrain and race three of the year to get his first finish and point of the season. He would go on to score points at the European, British and German Grand Prix, but too many retirements cost him a better season in terms of point scoring. Mark would go on to finish the season in 13th place, on a frustrated total of 7 points.

2005 was a better year for Mark Webber as he moved to Williams. There, he was provided with a car that was reasonably competitive in terms of scoring points. He was able to score points in 10 of the 19 races that year, with his best result coming in the form of third place and a podium finish at the prestigious Monaco Grand Prix, while he again matched his best ever qualifying performance with second place at the Spanish Grand Prix. Mark would go on to finish the year in 10th place in the Drivers’ Championship Standings with a total of 36 points.

2006 saw Mark remain at Williams, but this was to be a bad season for him. In some races he shone, putting the car at the front end of the grid but in most races, the car was uncompetitive and more importantly, unreliable. Mark was only able to finish in the points on three occasions, sixth at the Bahrain and San Marino Grand Prix and eighth at the Chinese Grand Prix. Mark would finish the season in 14th.

2007 saw Mark move to Red Bull Racing. Even though Mark’s Red Bull was able to make it into the top 10 shootout in qualifying on most occasions, Mark couldn’t always keep that feat up when it came to races. He was only able to core points on three occasions throughout the season. Mark finished seventh in the US and Belgian Grand Prix and outperformed the car to finish a fantastic third at the European Grand Prix. Mark would end the year in 12th place in the Drivers’ Championship with a total of 10 points.

2008 and Mark Webber would have a car with a similar level of competitiveness as in 2007. Mark again managed most top 10 finishes in qualifying, particularly at the beginning of the season and this season the race performances of the RB4 were reasonably competitive too. Mark’s best performance again came at Monaco were he finished fourth and he managed to secure 21 points throughout the season and 11th place in the Drivers’ Championship.

2009 was the season where Mark Webber became widely recognised due to the car which Adrian Newey (Designer of the RB5) designed was in the hunt for the championship. In the German Grand Prix at Nrbrugring, Mark took his first ever pole position in Formula 1. He followed this up with a dominating drive on Sunday where he even took a drive through penalty and won the race by 9.2 seconds. This was Mark’s first ever Formula 1 win and after seven and a half years of waiting Mark currently holds the record for the most number of race starts before taking a win. Mark then won his second Grand Prix in Brazil later on in the year. These performances left him with 69.5 points at the end of the year, finishing in 4th place overall.

2010 and Mark was delivered a car capable of winning the championship. He took four wins during the season, including back-to-back wins in Spain and Monaco and was leading the championship going into the third-to-last race of the season in Korea. There, he was running in second place until, in the treacherous conditions he put his outside wheels on the kerb, spun the car, hit the wall and collided with the unfortunate Nico Rosberg. From there on he was playing catch-up. He had his chance in the final round in Abu Dhabi where he needed to outscore championship leader Fernando Alonso by eight points but both went the wrong way on their strategies, which left Sebastian Vettel, Mark’s teammate there to win the championship. Mark finished 3rd in the championship on 242 points.

2011 and another great car by Red Bull, but it was Mark’s teammate Sebastian Vettel who took advantage of this and left the rest of the field trailing in his wake. Mark astonishingly apart from his one retirement in the Italian Grand Prix at Monza hasn’t finished any lower than fifth in any race this season. Having said that, Mark hasn’t actually won a race either and all of this for a man who theoretically is on more points than this time in 2010. Can Mark take his first and only win of the season at the final round in Brazil?

Coming up soon in the F1 Career Stories Series:
Lewis Hamilton
Jenson Button

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