High expectations for Webber

Mark Webber is happy to be racing for Williams in 2005 and knows that it will be a challenging year with a new team. After teams that have a somewhat lower profile, Minardi and Jaguar, Webber will be in the spotlight next season as he drives for an outfit that is capable of winning races and fighting at the front of the grid.

Mark Webber.
Photo by Jaguar Cars and Wieck Media Services, Inc..

"After my years at Minardi and Jaguar, people will naturally see my performances in a different light," he said, according to the Williams website. "The BMW WilliamsF1 Team's expectations are a lot higher than those of my previous teams. Still, I am more than happy. The BMW WilliamsF1 Team has always been a team I hoped to race for."

Webber's F1 debut at the Australian Grand Prix for Minardi in 2002 was a successful one. He scored the team's first points for three years in front of his home crowd with a fifth place finish. Since then Melbourne has not been a lucky circuit for Webber but he's aiming to make amends in March.

"It will be an incredible experience to be back racing at Melbourne," he said. "Back in 2002, I scored my only good result there. The other two times I retired with technical failures while running in the points, which was pretty frustrating. Therefore I have to raise my game in order to please the fans. A podium would be a great start to the season."

Williams has yet to announce a teammate for Webber for 2005. Nick Heidfeld tested for the team in recent weeks, as did Antonio Pizzonia. Rumour has it that Heidfeld has already signed a preliminary contract but whether it is for a race seat or a test role is not known -- if it is true at all.

Heidfeld put in some good performances on the test track and Williams was pleased with his efforts. It now appears that Nick has a stronger chance of getting the race seat but Williams is not in any hurry to make a decision.