Written by Owen Bradley, Edited by Alexandra Campos
Mark Webber: a nine-time Formula 1 Grand Prix winner, and a 42-time podium-sitter. He was one of four drivers to take the championship down to the wire in 2010 at Abu Dhabi, along with modern day legends Sebastian Vettel, Fernando Alonso, and Lewis Hamilton.
Mark Webber was also my first ever “favourite” driver, being born in 2004 - my first memories of Formula 1 were Red Bull vs Brawn GP in 2009, and I soon took a liking to the Australian.
Mark Webber is nowadays remembered as a “good” driver, but never as a “legend” of Formula 1, and that breaks my heart, especially considering he was up against modern day legends, and could run toe-to-toe with them.
Webber was a driving force behind Red Bull’s success in Formula 1, joining the team in 2007. Webber also skipped the Red Bull young driver programme, and was more like an experienced driver with his head on straight, who could drive exceptionally consistently.
Webber finally got his first ever F1 victory at the Nürburgring Grand Prix track in Germany, 2009, which was long overdue. 2010 was even better for him, mounting a full-on Championship Charge!
Webber unfortunately suffered a similar fate to what we’re seeing with Daniel Ricciardo; he’s quick, but not quick enough, he’s got great racing ability, but not quite enough. Mark Webber was regularly outperformed by Sebastian Vettel… but Red Bull themselves had a huge hand in this.
Frequently, Webber would draw the short straw when it came to race strategy, with the most famous example being the “Multi-21” incident in Malaysia, 2013. Sebastian Vettel would ignore the team’s plea’s to stay behind Webber, and he instead attacked and went for the lead; which he got, because Webber had slowed down and was on older rubber and running in conservation mode.
There was another time where the team seemingly blamed Webber for the collision between him and Vettel at the Turkish Grand Prix in 2010, which Vettel was definitely more than 50% to blame for in that incident.
Webber delivered not only 42 podiums, and nine wins in his time, but also a great personality. He always seemed like such a brilliant man to talk to, and something that is now visibly clear in his presence with Channel 4 F1.
And who could ever forget how he started Red Bull’s tradition of Monaco GP celebrations into the swimming pool, as he backflipped in 2010 having won at the track for the first time. He would win again at Monaco in 2012 too, something which is incredibly hard to do.
Webber might never have gotten a Formula 1 World Championship, but he sure will always go down as one of the greatest drivers never to win one.
He might not be regarded by the wider F1 fanbase as a hero… but he is mine.
Dedicated to Mark Webber, one of the greatest never to win the championship, and the man that has helped Red Bull get to where they are today!
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And if you’d like to check out a video I made on YouTube, about the legacy of Valentino Rossi, then follow this link:
Finally - be sure to check out the first episode of the Divebomb Power Rankings Podcast: