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Friday, February 13, 2009

Four: Mark Webber in… ‘Road To Recovery!’

Mark Weber in:
Road to Recovery

Mark Webber starts his third year in Red Bull Racing colours as the senior driver in the squad, hoping to produce the results of which we know he is capable. Occasionally dogged by misfortune, his road accident back in November was very,very bad luck, but he worked hard over the winter to speed through his recovery.
Webber made his Formula One debut with Minardi in 2002. It was a fairytale first: the team had not scored a point since 1999 and Mark finished his maiden race, at home in Australia, in fifth place, ending the season as the undisputed rookie of the year. Eleven years after the inevitable start in karts, Webber was beginning to make his mark in the sport’s top discipline. After karts and Formula Ford in his native Australia came the equally inevitable move to England for more single-seater experience and he put his name on the map by winning the prestigious Formula Ford Festival at Brands Hatch. Formula 3 followed, but then Mark’s career followed a path pioneered by Michael Schumacher, when he was taken on by the Mercedes sports car team.
Unfortunately, Webber’s time with the tin tops is best remembered for twice flipping the car at huge speed (through no fault of his own) at the Le Mans 24 Hours weekend in 1999. This led to him racing more sensible cars and he ended up coming into Formula One through the more conventional Formula 3000 route.
Mark has spent half his F1 life in Milton Keynes-based teams. His maiden Minardi season was followed by two years with Jaguar. Then after a couple of seasons at Williams, he returned to ‘MK’ and Red Bull Racing. A third placed podium finish in the 2007 European GP has been the highlight of his time with the team to date. In 2008, Mark was Mr Consistency in the first half of the season, regularly bringing home points, but after a front-row start at Silverstone, life got tougher and he ended the year 11th on 21 points.
Apart from his on-track commitment, Mark is a long-standing director of the Grand Prix Drivers Association, while the end of his F1 season means just one thing – the Mark Webber Pure Tasmania Challenge, which allows Webber to indulge his passion for all outdoor pursuits, with the possible exceptionof cycling from now on! The event has so far raised more than a million dollars for The Leukaemia Foundation and the Savethe Tasmanian Devil program

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