Debut & Minardi (2002)
Mark Webber made his debut into F1 back in 2002 driving for the Minardi team. He quickly rose to stardom by bring his Minardi home in a fine 5th place on his debut race for the team, giving him and the team 2 valuable points. He continued his strong form through out the season and had a string of good results. He impressed enough to land a race seat at the Jaguar Race Team for 2003.
His start for Jaguar was less than stellar as the first 4 races only yield 4 straight DNF’s. However in the later part of the season he became a regular point scoring driver and amassed a total of 17 points. He also started to develop his credentials as one of the sports best qualifiers. At both Brazil & Hungary he lined up P3, while at the San Marino GP he lined up P5 and at Canada he lined up P6.
2004 saw him remain at Jaguar, but it was not as good a season for the Auzzie, the car lacked the speed and consistency to be a regular point scorer. As a result Webber only finished in the points 4 times throughout the season. However he had shown enough to impress Frank Williams to offer Webber a seat at the Williams Team in 2005.
His move to Williams for 2005 was seen as Marks big chance to finally become one of the front runners in F1 and get the results that he deserved, but could never get. The season started well for Mark with regular point scoring positions and supreme qualifying performances. However the car let him down yet again, the Williams launch control constantly seemed to be costing the Auzzie places off the line. In Spain he lined up P2 for the first time, but by the end of the race he had slipped to 6th. However at Monaco all his hard work seemed to have finally paid off when he was rewarded with an excellent 3rd place podium finish, his first ever.
However the Williams soon went off the pace and Webber slipped from being at the front end of the grid to the back. Although he got his best ever points tally and his highest championship finish in 10th it was a disappointing year for Mark. If hopes were pinned on 2006 for a come back by Mark they were dashed early on as 11 DNF’s in 18 races saw the Williams driver become one of the most unluckiest men in F1. He only managed two 6th place finishes in Bahrain and San Marino, coupled with a miserable 8th place finish in China.
Red Bull Racing (2007-Present)
2007 saw Mark make a fresh start as he moved to Red Bull Racing, the team that had formerly been Jaguar. He teamed up with David Coulthard, but the stigma of bad luck seemed to follow the Auzzie where ever he went. An unreliable RB3 saw Mark retire from 3 out of the opening 6 races, his best result was a 9th place finish in Canada. However a stunning drive by Mark at the European GP saw him bring his car home in 3rd place, his second ever podium finish and the teams best race.
He remained with Red Bull into 2008 and the early part of the season showed Webber to be Mister Consistency, scoring strong points in 6 of the opening 8 races. A fantastic qualifying session in Britain saw Mark line up P2 in his Red Bull, but a disastrous first lap in torrential rain saw the Auzzie slip to the back of the field. This kind of set the trend for the rest of the season as he only managed 3 more 8th placed finishes.
Mark had a shaky start to the 2009 season, with questions still being raised over his fitness after his bicycle crash during the winter. However a superb drive in China after a wet race start saw Mark follow his team mate home in 2nd to help record the team’s first 1-2 finish and Marks first podium of 2009. More success and more podiums followed including two 2nd places in Turkey and Britain.
His breakthrough win looked to be just around the corner, with Red Bull looking to be the fastest car on the grid. At the German GP, after taking his maiden Pole Position in some style, Webber went on to take his maiden win in his 130th race start. It was the teams 3rd win of 2009 and put Webber in a strong position to battle for the championship.
A mid season slump however, that saw 2 DNFs in Italy and Singapore, would take Webber out of contention, but an excellent drive in Brazil saw Mark claim his second victory. He followed his team mate home again for another 1-2 finish in Abu Dhabi, Red Bull’s 4th of the season.
Mark finished 2009 a career best 4th with 69.5 points, 8 podiums and 2 victories. Although he was beaten by his young team mate Vettel, 2009 proved to be Marks breakthrough year and with him remaining with Red Bull in 2010, he will want to regain the upper hand.