Earlier this week Mark Webber announced his retirement from motor-racing at the end of the of 2016. The Australian hung up his Formula 1 boots at the end of the 2013 season and has since been competing with Porsche in the World Endurance Championships. In light of this news, we look back at some of Webber’s most memorable moments.
- He kicked off his Formula 1 career in style: Mark Webber started his stint in F1 in superb fashion at his home Grand Prix in Melbourne. At the 2002 Australian Grand Prix, Webber hauled the backmarker Minardi car from 18th on the grid to a Top 5 finish. Despite some help from 12 retirements and two disqualifications, Webber scored the team’s first lot of points since 1999.
- That unforgettable pass on Fernando Alonso: The Belgian Grand Prix features one of the most formidable corners on the F1 calendar – Eau Rouge. Webber passed the double world champion of Alonso going through this corner, leaving even the pit wall shaking their heads in utter disbelief.
- He was very sick in his helmet in 2007: At the 2007 Japanese Grand Prix, Sebastian Vettel, then driving for Toro Rosso, crashed into the second-place Webber under the safety car, ending both of their races. To make matters worse, Webber had been suffering from a nasty bout of food poisoning which made this race one to swiftly forget.
- Multi 21: It would be impossible to look back at Webber’s career without mentioning this moment. Vettel took victory over Webber after blatantly ignoring the order “Multi 21” at the 2013 Malaysian Grand Prix. The tricky pass and close racing between the two risked both cars and the points finish for the team. An angry Webber confronted Vettel, on camera, before the podium ceremony and called him out during the press conference, “Multi 21, Seb…”
- The jaw-dropping crash in Valencia: At the European Grand Prix in Valencia, Webber’s RB10 clipped Kovalainen while travelling at an astonishing 190mph. The Red Bull flew into the air, flipped several times, hit a hanging advertisement, before eventually landing upside down and on the nose of the car. Remarkably, Webber emerged unhurt.
- Hurt at Le Mans: Mark Webber’s return to sports cars was the story of the season in 2014. The Aussie had been to Le Mans twice before, but had never gotten to race at the circuit. In 1998 his car retired before his shot, and in 1999, the car was withdrawn before the race began. The 2014 race was Webber’s shot at glory. After taking the lead at hour 20, Timo Bernhard handed the car over to Webber, from the lead, with just two hours left in the race. Not long into Webber’s run, the car slowed and the Porsche was retired from the race.
- That backflip in Monaco: Mark Webber had two standout victories in the 2010 Formula 1 season, at Monaco and Silverstone. In Monaco, Webber dominated from lights to flag. He celebrated by backflipping into the Red Bull pool, much to the delight of the spectators. At Silverstone, the victory was worked for. A controversy began when teammate Vettel’s fancy new wing broke and Red Bull opted to take the fancy new one off of Webber’s car to replace it, leaving Webber with the older—and presumably inferior—wing. Vettel did take pole, but it was Webber who overtook him at the start to take the lead. Webber stayed out in from and it was the Australian who crossed the line first.
- Champion…at last: Webber may have missed out on becoming F1 World Champion several times, but the Australian and co-drivers Brendon Hartley and Timo Bernhard stole the WEC show in 2015. The trio won half of the season’s races and taking a podium in a further two and subsequently clinched the series championship.
Not bad for a number 2 driver, eh?