Stoddart impressed with Webber

When Mark Webber lines up on the grid in Melbourne on March 3rd he will give fellow Australians someone to cheer on for the first time in eight years. Who would partner Alex Yoong at Minardi in 2002 was the subject of much speculation but Webber...

When Mark Webber lines up on the grid in Melbourne on March 3rd he will give fellow Australians someone to cheer on for the first time in eight years. Who would partner Alex Yoong at Minardi in 2002 was the subject of much speculation but Webber was always one of the favourites to get the drive.

Minardi boss Paul Stoddart thinks his new signing is impressive, although he admits he was also chasing Heinz Harald Frentzen and Jos Verstappen. He says that Webber was never merely his third choice despite the two more experienced drivers being on his wish list -- Stoddart compares the Australian to Fernando Alonso who drove for Minardi last season and impressed many with his talent, being considered a future champion.

"Mark Webber is another Fernando Alonso,” he said.“ He has already carried out a few tests for us and has really impressed during them. We expect a lot from him. It's true that I did chase both Jos Verstappen and Heinz-Harald Frentzen. I respect Heinz as he wanted to drive for Arrows and felt that the whole package there was stronger than ours. He might even prove that he's correct, but it was never a case that Mark was second or third choice."

Webber was test driver at Benetton last season and now Alonso is testing for Renault, who took over Benetton for 2002.

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Jos Verstappen , Heinz-Harald Frentzen , Mark Webber , Fernando Alonso , Alex Yoong , Paul Stoddart
Teams Benetton , Minardi