After a successful run in karting and Formula Ford in his native Australia, Mark knew that if he wanted to realise his dream of F1 he had to leave his home soil and move to the UK.
He competed in British Formula Ford, Formula 3, Sports-cars and then Formula 3000 where his good results and pace landed him an F1 test drive with Benetton.
Mark made his F1 debut with Minardi in 2002, where in a race full of attrition he managed to hang on in there and grabbed fifth place at the flag scoring the team’s first points in three years. His ability to push a car beyond its limits opened the door for him to sign with the newly rejuvenated Jaguar Racing team and subsequently WilliamsF1. After moving to Red Bull Racing in 2007, Mark took his first F1 win in the 2009 German Grand Prix, which he described as the proudest moment of his career.
Throughout his 12 years in F1, Mark notched up 215 races, nine victories – most notably becoming a double winner of both the prestigious Monaco and British Grands Prix – and accumulated an impressive tally of 42 podium finishes, 13 pole positions and 19 fastest laps. He also helped Red Bull Racing to four consecutive Constructors’ World Championships.
At the end of 2013 Mark hung up his F1 boots and after a 15 year hiatus, rejoined sports-car racing as part of Porsche’s return to the LMP1 class of the FIA World Endurance Championship in 2014. Porsche was also returning to the category after a long break and they immediately impressed with the debut of the Porsche 919 Hybrid car. Mark and his teammates, Brendon Hartley and Timo Bernhard built a strong relationship over three seasons and together they amassed 14 podiums (eight of them victories) helped Porsche to the World Manufacturers Title twice, and became World Drivers’ Champions in 2015 – making Mark the first Aussie FIA World Champion since Alan Jones in 1980.
Mark decided the time was right for him to retire from racing at the end of the 2016 WEC season. His relationship with Porsche remains strong however, as he stepped out of the cockpit and into a special representative role with the famous marque.
Mark is well known for his high level of physical fitness and as a true lover of the great outdoors environment. Mark will often be found cycling the French Alps in the European summer, hiking or mountain biking in either the Chilterns countryside while he’s in the UK or in the rugged Colorado landscape when he’s in the USA, and enjoying the surf and national parks of Queensland, Australia. The more challenging the environment, the better!
One of Mark’s great passions is seeing people push their limits and setting goals outside of their comfort zones and in 2003 he launched the Mark Webber Tasmania Challenge. The seventh cycle of the gruelling charitable adventure race took place in the rugged Australian island state in December 2013 and is currently taking a sabbatical to develop the concept further. The Challenge is now recognised as one of the most premium multi-discipline adventure races in the world.
Since retiring from F1 in 2013 Mark has taken on the legendary “Race Across The Sky” twice. The Leadville Trail 100 MTB – a one hundred mile mountain bike race across the high-altitude, extreme terrain of the Colorado Rockies – starts at 10,152 feet and climbing to 12,424 feet. Competitive to the last, Mark was proud to have knocked off 7mins 28secs in his second attempt and returned in 2018 for a third time, but went over his PB by an hour. However he was happy with the effort, saying ‘it was the result I deserved’ due to lack of prep time during a busy start to the year, coupled with a particularly hot race day (Colorado was in the midst of a tough drought).
At the end of 2015 Mark’s long anticipated autobiography ‘Aussie Grit’ was published. A project that started back in 2009, it was a true trip down memory lane to bring Mark’s journey together. ‘Aussie Grit’ covers everything from his early days at home in Queanbeyan, through to his ultimate success as a Grand Prix winner and global sports personality via the many highs and lows along the way. Mark’s story has since become an international best-seller.
Mark began to delve into the world of punditry in 2014 with Network Ten in Australia and in 2016 he joined the Channel 4 commentary team as they took over the UK terrestrial F1 rights from the BBC. Although in 2021 the Australian Grand Prix hasn’t returned to the F1 calendar, Mark has continued in his analyst role for C4’s F1 telecast.