Oxford, 28 July 2004. The BMW WilliamsF1 Team confirmed today that Mark Webber has signed for the team for the 2005 season and beyond. The signing of the highly acclaimed 27 year-old Australian reflects a long-term mutual interest between team and...
Oxford, 28 July 2004. The BMW WilliamsF1 Team confirmed today that Mark Webber has signed for the team for the 2005 season and beyond. The signing of the highly acclaimed 27 year-old Australian reflects a long-term mutual interest between team and driver.
"Mark is self-evidently a highly talented driver," said BMW WilliamsF1 Team Principal Frank Williams, "But his tenacity, determination and motivation are also qualities we prize at WilliamsF1. As a team, we have traditionally prospered with drivers who have a down-to-earth, 'let's get on with it' attitude. Mark is certainly in that mould, and I am delighted he has agreed to join the team for 2005."
For his part, Webber said on the signing of the agreement, "The deal I have agreed with Williams today really is the most significant milestone in my career to date, and I have great expectations of what we can achieve together. Of course I am focused on my job with Jaguar Racing for the remainder of this season, but I cannot wait to take up my position with the BMW WilliamsF1 Team for next year. Besides having an amazing history of success, the team has a reputation for a no-nonsense and straightforward approach to racing, which suits me just fine."
Mark Webber has over a decade of motor racing experience, and has never failed to impress at every stage of his career. He rose to prominence in Formula One in his debut race in Melbourne in 2002, when he claimed a stunning 5th place for Minardi.
Sam Michael, WilliamsF1's Technical Director, sees the signing as more important than simply attracting a future World Champion to the team. Mark is the kind of character who will give a whole new impetus to everyone employed at WilliamsF1 and at BMW. He is a driven person with one goal. Mark displays to me all of the characteristics on and off the track of a champion in the making, and I believe he will be a significant catalyst in improving our future results," he said.
Mario Theissen, BMW's Motorsport Director added, "BMW is delighted that Mark is joining the team. He is clearly a focused driver and wants to win like we all do. He shows a great attitude towards his work and we are convinced that he will be a real fortification to the team's efforts. We have been fully involved and consulted in the process of recruiting Mark, and completely support his selection."
Webber was a relatively late starter by motor racing standards, only taking up karting at the age13 after a childhood spent playing and competing in a number of other sports in his native Australia. His swift progress claiming the Formula Ford Festival win in 1996 propelled the Australian into Formula 3, the FIA GT Championship with Mercedes and subsequently F3000, before Formula One beckoned.
Testing for Benetton led Webber to a full-time drive for Minardi for the 2002 season, and his prowess attracted the attentions of Jaguar Racing. In 2003, he finished the season 10th in the drivers' championship, and scored 18 of the team's tally of 19 points for the year.