F1 BECKONS #MadeMyMark
I made my F1 debut in 2000 when I tested for Benetton at Estoril. Fisi (Fisichella) was my benchmark and Ralf Schumacher was also there in the Williams. I was obviously very nervous but wasn’t intimidated by the cars. It was one of the first times I had used tyre blankets which was a nice luxury. We had used them in sports cars on occasions but they weren’t legal for races.
I knew I could do a good job but my biggest fear was whether I’d be fit enough, especially after a few hours of driving. Estoril was a tough track for the neck back then. That was when the tyres were super grippy and lasted forever and I certainly had my work cut out as an F1 virgin! I always knew that when this opportunity came, I wasn’t going to let it slip through my fingers. All the training and the new level of fitness I had found after being on the sidelines in 1999 and had maintained played to my favour. I don’t think Fisi, at the end of a long season, was particularly motivated or bothered about an Estoril test, whereas I was prepared to run through walls to get into the car. The test went well, I got up to his times quite quickly but my head almost fell off!
Oksannaon November 22, 2013 Reply
I remember it well!! I can’t believe it was 13 years ago. Them were the days at Estoril!! Good luck next year & enjoy your last race in F1! Gone but never forgotten!!
Michael Craigon November 22, 2013 Reply
Loving these little articles Mark.
The my f1 life book will be great..
Your gonna be missed in F1
Vitor Barretoon November 22, 2013 Reply
I did not knew your first time was at my home country 😀 Great Champion 🙂
Laila Vieira Martinson November 22, 2013 Reply
I’m actually chuffed to know your first ride in an F1 car was here in Portugal. I wish that track went back on the calendar… Please, write a proper biography! You write so well, I can actually hear you in my head when I read this. Good luck this weekend! Much love… xx
Ramon November 22, 2013 Reply
Little stories are fun to read n thanks for sharing! You will be missed in F1!
Andrew Thomsonon November 22, 2013 Reply
You are the reason why I love redbull so much. Aussie grit over any f1driver any day
Dianaon November 22, 2013 Reply
F1 will not be the same without the cheecky aussie ghit 🙂
Steve Hombachon November 22, 2013 Reply
Mark – from Minardi till now, thank you. I saw your first F1 point and hoping you go out with 10 in Brazil!
Jean-Michel Boileauon November 22, 2013 Reply
Sorry Mark, but your F1 debut was at Catalunya on December 9 & 10 1999 onboard a Arrows A20-Arrows V10
Mark Webber Site Manageron November 22, 2013 Reply
Yes you’re right – that was his first taste of F1, but not a real test! He only completed a lap or two.
Sharonon November 22, 2013 Reply
Good luck in your last F1 race! You will be missed. Best wishes in your new journey with Porche. Enjoy the weekend!
Ann Robertson November 22, 2013 Reply
Still can’t believe you won’t be in F1 next year, I’ve shouted and screamed for you ever since you’ve been with RB. Very good luck as you race your last race and I wish you well in your next career and the rest of your life, thanks for the memories xx
Yasuko Minegamion November 22, 2013 Reply
Dear Mark! I will suggest my view in reply to your first announcement. I found you could not catch your Vettel kun at this rate. You know each character of the 9 and the Grip Maker. So, I hear your acceleration becomes blunt for the starting lane change!
Rossingtonon November 22, 2013 Reply
Great stories Mark. Can’t wait for the book. I have a feeling it will sell really well around the whole world.
Kevinon November 22, 2013 Reply
Mark, it has been a pleasure watching you on and off the track. Your professionalism has made the journey even more fullfilling and rewarding to watch and in a small way, even be part of. In doing this you have helped my son and I become close. I took him to Singapore in 2011 and it was a wonderful weekend for us. We are both happy for your future at Porsche and excited that another Aussie got your car at Red Bull. You have been a great mentor to Daniel over the last couple of years, now watch and be proud. See you in the surf at Noose one day.
Nicolas bostonon November 22, 2013 Reply
Go webbo! Thanks for giving me someOne to root for in f1 for the past 10 years. So many late Sunday nights / Monday morning! It was all worth it! Looking forward to tracking your Porsche successes. 😉
Mark Lesteron November 23, 2013 Reply
Thanks for sharing these stories, Mark. Your work ethic is a great inspiration. Enjoy Brazil and best of luck next year!
Cynthiaon November 23, 2013 Reply
Thanks for everything.. :)We love you <3
Timon November 23, 2013 Reply
We will certainly miss you in F1, especially the class that you brought to the sport. Best of luck with your new Porsche venture.
J.P. Blakeon November 23, 2013 Reply
I’m very happy you’re driving for Porsche next year. They are a class act and you’ll fit the brand perfectly. Good luck!
Dianaon November 23, 2013 Reply
You will be missed, good luck in the future with Porsche. Just hope Daniel will be able to fill your shoes at Redbull. Quite a task, you are highly thought of.
Charlie Whitehouseon November 25, 2013 Reply
I’ve never written a fan letter to a driver before. I just wanted to thank you for being such a class act in a sport where that can be sorely lacking. Cheers!
Elizabeth Gibsonon November 25, 2013 Reply
Mark you are a generous man with your time and charity work… you make a lot of people happy… F1 Melbourne won’t be the same without you.you are a true fair dinkum Aussie ambassador enjoy the next phase of your life and career.. God Bless…
Matt Phillipson November 26, 2013 Reply
Thank you, thank you, thank you
Joel Tanon November 26, 2013 Reply
Thank you Mark.
Stuarton November 26, 2013 Reply
You will be missed Mark. My friend and I stumbled across you by chance following an interview you had with Buddha during the Aussie Rugby World Cup in 2005. We were in awe as we shook hands and chatted with our hero. You were a true gentleman then and have showed passion, honesty and integrity throughout your F1 career. All the best in Porsche mate!
Stuarton November 26, 2013 Reply