Mark Webber

Full Name:
Mark Alan Webber
Born:
27th August 1976 (Age 42)
Queanbeyan, New South Wales
Nationality:
Australian
Most recent race (in database):
Biography

Mark Webber was never a champion in motor racing’s junior formulae and his first seven Formula 1 seasons were as an extra. However he developed into a regular race winning driver once he joined Red Bull Racing. Unfortunately, it was Sebastian Vettel who has led the team’s title challenge during their time as team-mates. However, with Grand Prix business concluded, this forthright and popular Australian was crowned World Endurance Champion before he retired from the sport.

Background and early racing career

His father ran a motorcycle shop and Webber grew up with motorsports on his mind. He started racing in Australian Formula Ford and soon found success in England – winning the 1996 Formula Ford Festival at the second attempt. He graduated to British Formula 3 in 1997 with an Alan Docking Racing Dallara F397-Mugen. He won once and finished fourth in both the championship and at Macau.

The next two seasons were spent in FIA GTs with the works AMG Mercedes-Benz team. Runner-up in the 1998 championship with co-driver Bernd Schneider, Webber’s 1999 campaign is best remembered for the spectacular end-over-end accidents that curtailed his Le Mans 24 Hours. Webber swore never to race a sports car again although that was something he later reconsidered.

Formula 1 with Minardi and Jaguar

He switched to Formula 3000 in 2000 and finished third overall for European Minardi. Runner-up to Justin Wilson a year later with Super Nova Racing, Webber gradated to F1 in 2002 with Minardi and finished fifth on his debut in the Australian GP to score the team’s first points since being taken over by Paul Stoddart. His performances for the F1 minnows confirmed Webber’s promise and he spent the next two seasons with Jaguar Racing. He qualified well on occasion – including on the front row in Malaysia in 2004 – but solid results were hard to come by although he was 10th in the 2003 championship.

Frustration with Williams

A move to Williams-BMW for 2005 promised much and he qualified in the top five for the opening seven GPs. Second on the grid in Spain, he finished third at Monaco before his form faded with Webber 10th in the standings once more. He qualified on the front row for the 2006 Monaco GP but retired when in contention for victory.

Title challenger for Red Bull Racing

In moving to Red Bull Racing in 2007 Webber appeared to be swapping one midfield team for another. However, it provided Webber with the most competitive years of his career. Third in the 2007 European GP at the Nürburgring was the highlight of his first two seasons with the team.

Joined by Vettel for 2009, the year began badly when Webber broke his leg in a pre-season cycling accident in Tasmania. However, he recovered in time to be part of the surprise Brawn versus Red Bull championship battle. Webber’s mid-season consistency drew him briefly into the title fight with second place finishes in China, Turkey and Britain. He qualified on pole position in Germany and scored a popular first GP victory despite serving a drive-through penalty. Winner again in Brazil, Webber was fourth in the championship.

Successive victories in Spain and Monaco saw Webber join Vettel as championship leader in 2010 but they crashed into each other at the following race in Turkey. With the relationship between team-mates strained, Webber then survived a high-speed somersault at Valencia after hitting Heikki Kovalainen’s Lotus.

"Not bad for a number two"

He won the British GP in commanding style and announced it was "not bad for a number two" in a reference to perceived preferential treatment of Vettel that weekend. Another win in Hungary restored Webber to the title lead but a crash in Korea torpedoed his hopes. He finished third overall as the German won the world championship for the first time.

It was as if that success released Vettel and he totally dominated 2011. Webber was a distant and disappointed third in the championship after winning the final round in Brazil. Victories in the 2012 Monaco and British GPs appeared to prompt a championship charge but it was Vettel who emerged as Red Bull’s prime challenger once more. Webber only scored two more top-three finishes as he faded to sixth in the standings.

Webber remained with Red Bull for 2013 in what proved to be his final F1 campaign. With Vettel clinching a fourth successive world title after a record-breaking campaign, Webber was a distant third overall in his first winless campaign since 2008. The closest he came to victory was the Malaysian GP when Vettel ignored team orders in the "Multi 21" controversy.

World Sportscar Champion for Porsche

Having decided that his F1 time was up, Webber joined Porsche for the German marque's return to prototype racing in 2014. With Timo Bernhard and Brendon Hartley sharing his Porsche 919 Hybrid, they scored podium finishes during that debut season. They then won four races in a row to clinch the 2015 World Endurance Championship for the team – Webber's first major title at the age of 39.

Webber, Hartley and Bernhard finished fourth in the 2016 WEC in what proved to be the Australian’s last year before he retired from the sport. They may not have been able to defend their title but this was Webber’s finest season as a sports car driver. He impressed with a gritty comeback drive at Le Mans and then won four races in five as team-mates Romain Dumas, Marc Lieb and Neel Jani clinched the championship.

A fitness obsessive and as tough as they come, Webber is never afraid to speak his mind.

Championship seasons

Season Name Starts Poles Podiums Wins Position Points
2016 World Endurance Championship
Porsche Team
9 2 6 4 4th 134.5
2015 World Endurance Championship
Porsche Team
8 5 6 4 1st 166
2014 World Endurance Championship
Porsche Team
8 1 3 0 9th 64.5
2013 F1 World Championship
Infiniti Red Bull Racing
19 2 8 0
0% win rate
3rd 199
2012 F1 World Championship
Red Bull Racing
20 2 4 2
10% win rate
6th 179
2011 F1 World Championship
Red Bull Racing
19 3 10 1
6% win rate
3rd 258
2010 F1 World Championship
Red Bull Racing
19 5 10 4
22% win rate
3rd 242
2009 F1 World Championship
Red Bull Racing
17 1 8 2
12% win rate
4th 69.5
2008 F1 World Championship
Red Bull Racing
18 0 0 0
0% win rate
11th 21
2007 F1 World Championship
Red Bull Racing
17 0 1 0
0% win rate
12th 10
2006 F1 World Championship
Williams F1 Team
18 0 0 0
0% win rate
14th 7
2005 F1 World Championship
BMW Williams F1
18 (1) 0 1 0
0% win rate
10th 36
2004 F1 World Championship
Jaguar Racing
18 0 0 0
0% win rate
13th 7
2003 F1 World Championship
Jaguar Racing
16 0 0 0
0% win rate
10th 17
2002 F1 World Championship
Go KL Minardi Asiatech
16 (1) 0 0 0
0% win rate
15th 2
2001 FIA International F3000 Championship
Super Nova Racing
12 2 4 3
25% win rate
2nd 39
2000 FIA International F3000 Championship
European Arrows Racing
10 0 3 1
10% win rate
3rd 21
1998 FIA GT Championship
AMG Mercedes
5 3 5 5 3rd 69