Bridesmaid no more
It may sound hard to believe but, leaving aside Webber’s role in Red Bull Racing’s four Formula 1 Constructors’ Championship wins, his victory in the 2015 FIA World Endurance Championship is his first ever championship/series win!
As fate would play out, the trajectory of Webber’s career has generally seen him progress as quickly up the junior formula ladder as possible, even if that meant eschewing the chance to add a series victory or two to his CV.
Webber might well have won in Formula Ford in Australia after finishing fourth in his second season in 1995 (the year Jason Bright won). But he didn’t hang around after that, making what was to prove a permanent shift to Europe as the quest to forge an international career kicked off in earnest.
Webber was runner up in the ’96 British Formula Ford Championship and, impressively, won that year’s Formula Ford Festival. With nothing left to prove in Formula Ford, from there it was straight into Formula 3 for ‘97.
He was fourth in the British championship and third in the prestigious Macau Grand Prix. After that, insufficient funds and other factors saw him sidestep openwheelers for sportscars, with Mercedes. With Bernd Schneider as team-mate, Webber was third in the ’98 FIA GT Championship.
Back in openwheelers, he was third in the 2000 International Formula 3000 Championship, and second the following year. From there it was Formula 1.
It’s certainly been a long time coming. But after such a stellar career it’s fitting that in finally winning a drivers’ championship, Mark Webber can now call himself a world champion.