Webber hoping to challenge for victory

Webber hoping to challenge for victory

In just a few days time Mark Webber will be lining up on the grid for the first race of the 2004 season in his native Australia. Two years ago Webber gave the home fans something to cheer about when he came home fifth and scored Minardi's first ...

In just a few days time Mark Webber will be lining up on the grid for the first race of the 2004 season in his native Australia. Two years ago Webber gave the home fans something to cheer about when he came home fifth and scored Minardi's first points in three years. With Jaguar in 2003 he was regularly in the points and is now convinced that given the right car, he can claim victories.

Mark Webber.
Photo by Brousseau Photo.
Webber is tipped to be a favourite to replace Juan Pablo Montoya at Williams for 2005 but has often reiterated his intention to stay with Jaguar, to whom he is contracted next year. "It's good to be regarded as a candidate," he said about the Williams situation, according to the UK's Sunday Times.

"We're all competitive, we all want to win as soon as possible. But this is one of the most fickle sports in the world; people change like the wind. I had a strong season (last year), and now they're asking whether I'll be as good this year. Given the equipment, I can challenge for victories."

Jaguar did not produce anything to get excited about in winter testing and some speculated the R5 fell short of the expected performance. Webber refutes this, claiming he could have been at the front in testing.

"The early lap times were a long way from what the car can do because we were working to our own programme," he explained. "With the new one-engine-per-weekend rule, the first thing you need this year is reliability. I could have been in the top three at all the tests, no problem."

Luck often plays a part in a driver's career and Webber considers his progress has often been blessed with such: "In other sports you're rewarded for the effort you put in; in motorsport a lot of it is dumb luck. Every move I've made has turned out right -- and however determined or good you might be, in the end that's very, very lucky."

However, luck is fickle and so is Formula One. "It only takes a race in this sport to change people's perceptions," Webber commented. "Or one shunt to change your life."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya
Teams Williams , Minardi