Mark Webber

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Mark Webber

Born

8/27/1976, Queanbeyan, New South Wales, Australia

Birth Name

Gender

Male

Also Known As

Mark Alan Webber
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Biography

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Mark Webber was born in Queanbeyan, New South Wales, Australia. He started out racing motorcycles, and moved to four wheels in 1991, taking up karting at the age of 15. He won the New South Wales state championship in 1993, and moved straight into the Australian Formula Ford…more

Credits

Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • While competing in his own charity event, the Mark Webber Pure Tasmania Challenge, Mark collided head-on with a vehicle, suffering a broken leg and other injuries. Mark, who was cycling at the time of the incident, was airlifted to hospital where he was treated for his injuries.

    • In 2008 Mark was placed fourth overall on the Top 50 Australian Sports Earners list, with earnings of $8.5 million. The list rankings are compiled based on publicly available information, as well as off-the-record conversations with agents, managers and sports teams.

    • Mark made his Formula One debut at his home race, the 2002 Australian Grand Prix. He qualified 18th of the 22 cars, over 4 seconds away from the pole position time, but 1.4 seconds ahead of team-mate Alex Yoong.

    • Mark classes Formula One World Champions Alain Prost, Michael Schumacher and Grand Prix motorcycle racer Kevin Schwantz as his childhood heroes.

    • On the morning of the 2007 Aus GP, it was revealed that Mark had argued with his new team, Red Bull Renault, over the colour of his crash helmet. Red Bull's marketing chiefs did not like the colour green on Mark's helmet's regular design, which represents Australia. Instead, Mark was forced to use a helmet with a plain yellow top.

    • During February 2007 testing, Mark tried out a new helmet. It is understood that the Australian all-white 'Arai' model is the idea of the team's car designer Adrian Newey -- who thinks it will better channel air in and around the new RB3 single seater's air box.

    • In a January 2006 poll, conducted by radio station Mix FM, Mark was voted to be the most over-rated Australian sportsman.

    • Mark got a taste of 7.5g and 400kph in November 2006 - and a racetrack was nowhere in sight. Although still under contract to Williams, Mark was a guest of his 2007 employer Red Bull at the energy drink company's 'Red Bull Air Race World Series' event in Perth.
      Often just metres above the Swan River, Mark rode in a US-built 'Edge 540' racing plane, which can withstand 12G and twist up to 420deg per second.

    • Mark led his own 'Mark Webber Challenge 2006' on the first of six days. In Tasmania, the 30-year-old's four-man team pulled out a lead of six and a half minutes over their eleven rivals as the arduous cycling, hiking and kayaking contest began.

    • In August 2006, it was announced Mark would be replaced in the Williams team for 2007 by Alex Wurz.

    • On 27/06/06, Mark, Alex Wurz and a trio of NASCAR drivers cycled to the top of Pike's Peak in Colorado.

    • Mark is a GPDA [Grand Prix Drivers Association] director.

    • Mark's first Formula One podium was at Monaco 2005. He finished 3rd.

    • In 2005, Mark won the Bandini F1 trophy. The Lorenzo Bandini Association award goes to the driver who has shown the most fighting spirit.

    • In 2000, Mark finished third in the International Formula 3000 Championship with one victory for Eurobet Arrows. In 2001, he finished second in the series with three wins for SuperNova. He was also the test and reserve driver for F1 team Benetton.

    • In 1999, Mark participated in the Sportscar Championship with Mercedes AMG, including the Le Mans 24-hour race.

    • In 1998, Mark finished second in the FIA GT Championship with five wins for Mercedes Junior Team.

    • In 1997, Mark finished fourth in the British formula Three Championship for Alan Docking Racing. and in 1996, finished second in the British Formula Ford Championship and was the winner of the Duckhams Formula Ford Festival.

    • In 1995, Mark finished fourth in the Australian Formula Ford Championship and third in Duckhams Formula Ford festival.

    • The F1 teams Mark has driven for as of 2007
      - Arrows (Test driver - 1999-2000)
      - Benetton (Test driver- 2001)
      - Minardi (2002)
      - Jaguar (2003-04)
      - Williams (2005-06)
      - Red Bull Racing (2007)
      - Red Bull Racing (2008)

    • Mark placed third in the 1995 Duckhams Formula Ford Festival at Brands Hatch on his international racing debut.

    • Mark is an Ambassador for the Inspire Foundation and helps raise awareness of Inspire's flagship program Reach Out!, which helps young people get through tough times.

    • Mark's favourite tv programs are Question of Sport, They Think It's All Over, and Soccer AM. His favorite movie is The Castle.

    • Mark enjoys reading current affairs magazines such as Time and Newsweek, and National Geographic.

    • Mark's favourite Olympic moments - Jimmy Tomkins and Drew Ginn winning gold for Australia in the Men's Coxless Pairs - Athens 2004; Steve Redgrave winning his 5th gold medal in the Mens' Fours - Sydney 2000.

    • Mark's favourite Wonders of the World (natural or manmade) are the Great Wall of China and Mount Everest.

    • Mark's favorite sporting teams are the Wallabies (Australian National Rugby team) and Chelsea (English Premiership soccer team). His favorite sportsmen are boxer Muhammad Ali and cyclist Lance Armstrong.

    • Mark's favourite holiday destinations are: Langkawi, the Maldives, Scotland, the French Alps and Queensland.

    • On February 27, 2005, the Sydney Harbour Bridge was closed to all traffic (including pedestrians) for 5 hours to allow Mark to complete a 10 minute demonstration run in a Williams FW26B F1 car. Mark crossed the bridge 10 times, describing the experience as a "tremendous buzz". The run was supposed to be limited to 90km/h, though he later admitted that he drove faster than this.

    • Mark lists his favourite possessions as his dog Milo, his house, a collection of road and mountain bikes, and a kayak.

    • Mark has brown hair and hazel eyes.

    • Mark spent the 2004–05 winter testing break training with cyclist Lance Armstrong in Texas.

    • As at the end of the 2007 season, Mark has participated in 104 F1 GPs.
      As at the end of the 2007 season, Mark has finished 60 F1 GPs.
      As at the end of the 2007 season, Mark has been on the F1 podium 2 times.
      As at the end of the 2007 season, Mark has finished in the points 28 times.
      As at the end of the 2007 season, Mark has had 44 retirements from F1 races.

    • In 2006, Mark was officially appointed as the Canberra Raiders' number one ticket holder.

    • In 2005, Mark was listed 13th in Australian Who magazine's annual "Most Beautiful People" list.

    • Prior to the 2004 Australian Grand Prix, Mark drove his Jaguar in the forecourt of the Sydney Opera House, performing several doughnuts and burnouts, and also drove across the Sydney Harbour Bridge. This was part of the celebrations to honor 10 years of the Australian F1 GP at Albert Park.

    • Mark's left thigh is narrower than his right, and his right calf is thinner than his left.

    • All proceeds from Mark's 2006 merchandise range was given to cancer charities through his "Mark Webber Challenge Foundation."

    • Mark has won the annual F1 Pro-Am tennis tournament in Barcelona three times (2002, 2004 and 2005), and was runner-up to Juan Pablo Montoya in 2003.

    • Mark enjoys outdoor sports including road cycling, mountain biking, tennis and fitness training.

    • Mark's girlfriend is his manager Ann Neal. The couple live in Buckinghamshire, England. [20080

    • Mark's F1 seasons summary:
      2002: Minardi-Asiatech – 16 starts, 2 pts, 16th in Championship
      2003: Jaguar-Cosworth – 16 starts, 17 pts, 10th in Championship
      2004: Jaguar-Cosworth – 18 starts, 7 pts, 13th in Championship
      2005: Williams-BMW – 19 starts, 1 podium, 36 pts, 10th in Championship
      2006: Williams-Cosworth – 4 starts, 6 pts, 9th in Championship

    • The engines Mark has raced with in F1 are as follows:
      Asiatech V10 (2002)
      Ford Cosworth CR-5 3.0 V10 (2003)
      Cosworth Racing CR-6 (2004)
      BMW P85 (2005)
      Cosworth FW28 (2006)
      Renault RS27 (2007)

    • The chassis Mark has raced with in F1 are as follows:
      Minardi PS02 (2002)
      Jaguar R4 (2003)
      Jaguar R5 (2004)
      Williams FW27 (2005)
      Williams FW28 (2006)
      Red Bull RB3 (2007)

    • The teams Mark has raced for in F1 are as follows:
      KL Minardi Asiatech (2002)
      Jaguar Racing Ltd. (2003)
      Jaguar Racing Ltd. (2004)
      BMW WilliamsF1 Team (2005)
      WilliamsF1 Team (2006)
      Red Bull Racing (2007)

    • Mark worked as a ball-boy for premiership winning rugby league team, The Canberra Raiders during the late 1980s.

  • Quotes

    • Mark: (on Lewis Hamilton refusing to join F1's safety-oriented drivers' union, the GPDA) One day he might be in the barriers and needs someone. I think it is a little bit naive of some young guys not to want to support. You don't have to be a totally active member - we're only asking for 20 minutes per fortnight.

    • Mark: (on Lewis Hamilton following the 2007 Japanese GP) I think he did a s*** job behind the safety car, he did a s*** job and that's it. He spoke in the driver's briefing about how good a job he was going to do and he did the opposite. But we know for next time. It definitely contributed to Sebastian (Vettel) hitting me up the back. We were confused what the other car was doing because it wasn't doing what it was supposed to do, clearly. You have to keep a sensible rhythm and obviously in the first safety car period and clearly in the second there was not a sensible rhythm.

    • Mark: (on Sebastian Vettel following their collision at the 2007 Japenese GP) Well it's kids isn't it, kids with not enough experience doing a good job and then they f*** it all up!

    • Mark: (on moving to Red Bull for 2007) I am very fortunate in a way to have a fresh chance to throw my career back on track, because it's been a tough two years at Williams. I still believe I've got a good four or five years left in me to compete at the highest level.

    • Mark: (commenting on the 2006 season with Williams) You can't have a season as bad as this, really. Next year will be better and I'm very confident of that.

    • Mark: (after finishing 10th in the 2006 Turkish GP) It was going fine until the safety car period, given our plans to go long. I just managed to clear the safety car before it came out on the track, and then I pitted. The stint following the first stop was very hard to keep going, because I was carrying quite a bit of fuel and had very poor rear grip. The last stint was much better, but then it was too late. All in all, it was disappointing not to make it into the points today, but circumstances weren't easy for us.

    • Mark: (on drug taking within F1) I would be highly surprised if anyone is doing anything, apart from a few Foster's here and there. But it is a professional sport and you should always cover all bases. I am not trying to make a mountain out of a molehill, but why not more testing?

    • Mark: (on David Coulthard being his strongest team mate so far) Yes exactly. I can't see at the moment that there is any downside. It's really exciting.
      I don't know how much driving I am going to do before Christmas but I would say we will be well underway come late January.

    • Mark: (on moving to the Red Bull Racing team for the 2007 season) It is a sense of relief. I am going to a team that is financially in much better shape. The car will be competitive, with a strong engine and backed by a solid budget.

    • Mark: (on signing with Red Bull for the 2007 season) It's fantastic to be joining Red Bull Racing. It's clear that the team is very hungry for long-term success, it has a very talented group of personnel and there seems to be a real sense of team spirit and unity. I believe I'm joining the team at exactly the right time for success in the future. I hope to bring good experience to the team and to assist it by being a fast and consistent driver and scoring as many points as possible. I hope that with Red Bull Racing I can have my best F1 season to date and believe that we can be very, very strong together. I'm looking forward to some great times with David and the rest of the Red Bull Racing team.

    • Mark: (on being replaced by Alexander Wurz for the 2007 season) Yeah, he's a good guy, he has good experience, and it's good for the team.

    • Press conference ahead of the 2006 Hungarian GP…
      Q: (Peter Farkas - Auto Motor). Mark, would you please clarify if it was your decision to leave Williams or the option was on their side and they simply failed to take it up?
      Mark
      : Williams had a choice to take an option up which was for a further two years and they weren't in a position to do that so we agreed that we would try to make it work, even if they couldn't have come to an agreement with the original terms in place, we would try and stay there and work a new deal from there. But still we couldn't and in the end we decided to… Flavio said OK, let's go on the market and go from there.

    • Mark: (on securing a drive for the 2007 season) Well, it would be silly to walk away from Williams and not have anything, wouldn't it? I thought they were going to announce Alex at Hockenheim to be honest. That is what I expected because we couldn't come to an agreement with Williams and that is the way it was.

    • Mark: (ahead of the 2006 German GP) I expect we'll experience similar temperatures in Germany to those we had in Magny-Cours. The track itself is pretty featureless and is not one of the most exciting places we visit. However, it has provided some interesting races in recent years thanks to the long back straight which flows into the hairpin and which provides good overtaking opportunities. The stadium section is obviously a famous feature of the Hockenheim circuit and, because it's the only part of the track which hasn't changed in the last few years, it proves a popular spot for the spectators. Given Michael Schumacher and Ferrari's recent form, I don't think there'll be any shortage of German fans there to cheer them on.

    • Mark: (after retiring from the 2006 French GP) That was pretty much the worst result we could get, having started from ninth on the grid. It's very disappointing. We're just the vultures of the paddock at the moment, picking up points when other people fall out. I enjoyed driving this weekend, and you always learn something as a team. We're beginning to gel, as there's been a lot of new people, and I think we're becoming one of the most organised teams in the pit lane. But that means nothing if you're not quick enough to score points.

    • Mark: (after qualifying 11th for the 2006 French GP) We knew it was going to be a pretty close qualifying session and the fact that Nico and I are just on the border of the top ten demonstrates that. I had several good laps but my last qualifying lap was not so awesome. I wasn't quick enough in the last sector so I lost a couple of tenths. No excuses. Let's see how the race goes tomorrow.

    • Mark: (after the first day's practice of the 2006 French GP) It was a pretty good day. Alex did some good long runs in the second session which was critical because the track temperatures this afternoon will be similar to those we'll experience in the race. The hot conditions are making it very hard on the tyres at the moment though so we have a lot of data to go through tonight, as well as a lot of set up work to do. I did two runs this afternoon and it seems that we're in a lot better shape than we were in the last two races so there's perhaps a window opening for some cautious optimism, which is good.

    • Mark: (on his options for the 2007 season) They (Renault) are the strongest team in Formula 1 at the moment along with Ferrari. They are very, very strong. But Frank [Williams] has got an option on me, so it's up to him if he wants me to drive next year. If he doesn't, then we've got to look at what's best for me in the future. Hopefully I've shown enough whenever possible that I can compete at a high level in the sport.

    • Mark: (after crashing out of the 2006 US GP) My start was reasonable and I got a slipstream behind Speed but there was someone really slow in the middle of the track and I was just minding my own business on the brakes turning in and the next minute I got harpooned by somebody on the right rear. I got launched into the air and I thought I was going to roll. Thankfully I didn't, but the damage to the car stopped me from continuing.

    • Mark: (looking forward to the 2006 US GP) It will be good to be back in America this week and I hope that we can put on a good show for the fans, they deserve it and Formula One needs it. As a team, we also need to do a lot better than we did in Canada, primarily by benefiting from a better tyre choice. I think we can be quite strong in Indianapolis, providing we make the right decisions in our preparations. I like racing in the US, even if the Speedway was not designed for Formula One cars, and I respect the history of the track. It's important that we come home with some points from these two fly-aways.

    • Mark: (after qualifying 17th at the 2006 Canadian GP) The car was quick enough to get through to the next group of course and I was doing everything I could to achieve this, but it was very frustrating to get caught behind my team-mate on the back straight which hurt me into the last corner. It was a shame to lose so much time, but that's the way it goes and I am not here to give a shopping list of excuses.

    • Mark: (on Michael Schumacher's qualifying incident at Monaco 2006) I said my piece to him. I prefer to keep the words to myself. Suffice to say I'm happy with what was said. I had huge respect for him but whatever he was doing, it was an insult to the rest of us.

    • Mark: (criticising the Cosworth Engines Williams are using in the 2006 season) At the start of the year we did have the best engine in the field, no doubt about it. But it's not possible for Cosworth to sustain that strength of development and budget against a Honda or Renault or Mercedes.

    • Mark: (after qualifying 17th at the 2006 British GP) Every now and again in this game this happens. We didn't have enough rear grip and ultimately we weren't quick enough. I didn't manage to get a lap in with the balance that Nico had, so my lap time suffered. The track's been all over the place this weekend, but that's the same for everyone and we should have been more prepared for this eventuality. I think it's going to be a very long race tomorrow.

    • Interviewer: Do you know where you're going to watch Australia's opening match?
      Mark: Australia? I don't even know when they are playing first.
      Interviewer: That's how much you follow them!
      Mark: Err. Well I'll take some interest when… like all the other Aussies, only when they're doing well.

    • Mark: (on who he'll be supporting in the 2006 Soccer World Cup) I've lived in England for ten years and I've loved the English people and the comedy and all that sort of stuff. But when it comes to sport, I hope they get absolutely battered in the World Cup, so I'm going for Australia.

    • Mark: (after Michael Schumacher was stripped of Pole Position at the 2006 Monaco GP) I understand the second sector was well down. You could say he was trying very, very hard in the last sector, but it looks like there's been two moves on the steering wheel from what I've heard. Obviously if it is intentional it is childish, isn't it? It looks a bit tricky to be honest. Senna did some pretty wild things because he believed that was right. But will Michael sleep well tonight? Who knows? If it's deliberate it's absolutely rubbish. It's massively below the belt and if that's the case he should definitely lose all his qualifying.

    • Mark: (after qualifying 3rd in the 2006 Monaco GP) Saturday has turned out to be a reasonable day for us. We qualified pretty well in third position and I think we were maybe improving a little bit until we got the yellow flag due to Michael Schumacher's stoppage, which of course hurt everybody. Anyway, the crucial thing for us is the race and we want to get to the end and get some of the points that I think we deserve. It's been a strong effort from the team in the last few days. We now need to capitalise on this starting opportunity, at a track where qualifying is so important.

    • Mark: (offering advice prior to the 2006 Monaco GP) We just mentioned the other day with the group of drivers that of all places, Monaco's very important in terms of you actually have nowhere to go if you back off in certain areas and you don't want to be learning about that in qualifying.
      The experienced guys know the score but every so often you get caught out. Monaco is just so bad, telemetry is bad, you can't see where the cars are really on the track, radio's bad ... but it'll be fine. It makes it interesting.

    • Mark: (on the possibility of women racing in F1) I think it's a question of the risk-taking side – if you see people driving like maniacs on the road they're almost always men. In a sense women are too logical for this business.

    • Mark: (ahead of his home GP, the 2006 Australian GP) It's the best Grand Prix of the year and I'm not just saying that because I'm Australian. I'm saying it on behalf of a lot of the other Formula One drivers who love coming to Melbourne. The atmosphere isn't just confined to the circuit as it spills over into the streets and city over the entire event.

    • Mark: (on Renault team principal, Flavio Briatore) Flavio, he has the bloody crystal ball...he's so bloody sharp, he knows. He has a great bullshit meter.

    • Mark: I've always dressed the same - now I can afford to dress slightly better, but I generally just wear brown corduroy.

    • Mark: We don't get groupies, well I don't see them, anyway. That was something that I always looked forward to and am constantly disappointed by the lack of!

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