Friday, 26 August 2011

Mark Webber : Mark Webber Complete Biography,Personal Life,Career

Mark Webber Mark Webber
Team Red Bull Racing
Nationality Australian
Podiums 26
Points 560.5
Grand Prix entered 170
World Championships 0
Highest race finish 1 (x6)
Highest grid position 1 (x9)
Date of Birth 27/08/1976
Place of Birth Queanbeyan, New South Wales

A sandy-haired and boyishly attractive performer from a disadvantaged and politically active background, Mark Webber went from so-called "shelter boy" to movie star with an acting career on the ascent since his 1997 debut in the Philadelphia-based gritty youth feature "Edge City". The son of a struggling single mother, Webber had a relatively normal childhood in his Minneapolis home until age ten when a perceived welfare fraud ended benefits, landed his mother in jail and left the two homeless. In 1990, mother and son relocated to Philadelphia, where they became noted activists for homeless causes and undertook a project that reclaimed abandoned government owned homes for the needy. Arrest, mistreatment by police officials and a subsequent successful lawsuit met the young man's efforts. This extensive real-life drama presumably had an effect on the actor, who proved a true natural, an emotionally available performer with a palpable drive and arresting charm.
A veteran of high school and local stage productions, Webber made an auspicious big screen debut in Philadelphia director Eugene Martin's independent "Edge City", a gritty look at exploding tensions between city kids and their suburban counterparts hailed for its non-exploitative realism. The actor next took a role in the somewhat similarly themed Iowa-set "Whiteboys" (1999), an ambitious feature telling the story of a trio of hip-hop influenced farm boys who dream of hanging with rap artists and seek to prove their street cred as drug dealers in Chicago's notorious Cabrini Green housing project. Cast alongside fellow up and comers Danny Hoch and Dash Mihok, Webber played the most affluent of the group, a disaffected middle class teen. Next up for Webber was a supporting role in the teen romantic comedy "Drive Me Crazy" (also 1999). A starring vehicle for sitcom heavyweight Melissa Joan Hart, the movie suffered from dire predictability, but Webber's portrayal of 'Designated' Dave, a conscientious computer buff so-named for his willingness to drive friends home, was among the feature's highlights. He made his starring debut in the disappointing "Snow Day" (2000), playing Hal, a young lovestruck high schooler who sets out to use this weather-defined holiday to his romantic advantage. Webber's affable performance, though, couldn't save the formulaic, curiously unfunny film from box office failure.
While his early outings were less than stellar, Webber displayed a talent that would carry him through and no doubt offer a promising career. Further proof was provided by his turn as Bobby in David Mamet's classic "American Buffalo", staged in London at the famed Donmar Warehouse and in Off-Broadway in New York at the Atlantic Theater in 2000. Webber was roundly praised for his appropriately excitable take on this challenging role. The actor could next be seen with Laurel Holloman and Elise Neal in the World War II era coming-of-age drama "The Rising Place" (lensed 1999).
  • Born:
    July 19, 1980 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
  • Job Titles:
  • Mother: Cheri Honkala. Raised him as a single parent; a leading poverty activist
  • High School for the Creative and Performing Arts, Philadelphia , Pennsylvania
  • 1990 Moved to Philadelphia at age ten
  • 1997 Film debut, Edge City
  • 1999 Appeared in the Marc Levin directed, Whiteboyz
  • 1999 Featured in the teen comedy Drive Me Crazy
  • 2000 Cast in David Mamet s American Buffalo at London s Donmar Warehouse and NYC s Atlantic Theater
  • 2000 Featured in the NY drama, Boiler Room
  • 2000 First leading role in a feature, Snow Day
  • 2001 Featured in the World War II drama The Rising Place
  • 2002 Acted in Woody Allen s Hollywood Ending
  • 2002 Made London stage debut in Neil LaBute s The Distance from Here
  • 2005 Starred with Anthony LaPaglia in the drama Winter Solstice
  • 2007 Co-starred in Ethan Hawke s adaptation of his own novel, The Hottest State
  • 2008 Co-starred with Rachel Miner in the independent, The Memory Thief
  • 2010 Co-starred opposite Michael Cera in the comic book adaptation Scott Pilgrim vs. The World
  • Lived in Minneapolis; briefly lived homeless
  • Worked as a homeless activist
Webber after winning the 2009 Brazilian Grand Prix - Photo © Red Bull/Getty Images

Aussie Mark Webber originally started out on two wheels racing motorbikes – hardly surprising given that he is the son of Alan, a motorcycle dealer. However in 1991 he took up karting. He won the New South Wales state championship in ’93 and moved to the Australian Formula Ford championship. He took 14th in his debut season. Continuing in the Formula Ford championship in 1995 he was much improved, and took several race victories. He finished 4th in the championship and teamed up with Ann Neal – the Australian Formula Ford coordinator, who secured him a sponsorship deal with the Australian Yellow Pages, and later became his manager. Neal accompanied Webber on a trip to England in a bid to start a career in Europe.
Following a successful test with the Van Diemen team, Webber earned a works drive with them for the 1995 Formula Ford Festival at Brands Hatch. He finished third and was promptly given a drive with the team for the 1996 British Formula Ford championship. He had a successful championship, winning 4 races and took 2nd overall. He also won the Formula Ford Festival and the Spa round of the Formula Ford Euro Cup. Webber was awarded Australian motorsport’s “Young Achiever” and “International Achiever” of 1996. At the end of the season, Webber had a successful test with the Alan Docking Racing, with whom he would drive in the Formula 3 championship for in 1997.
In Formula Three, Webber had a financial struggle, and financial backing from Aussie rugby union player David Campese saved Webber’s team from collapse at the eleventh hour. Webber finished 4th in the championship.
For 1998, Webber signed as the official Mercedes works junior driver for the 1998 FIA GT Championship, after impressing Mercedes-AMG at a test in Austria at the A1-Ring. Webber and teammate Bernd Schneider made a good partnership and finished 2nd in the championship. Webber continued with the team for 1999 before Mercedes stopped their sportscar program, due to Webber and his teammate both flipping spectacularly on the straight at Le Mans due to an aerodynamic fault.
After a successful test with the team, Webber was signed as a test driver with the Arrows for the 2000 season, whilst also competing in Formula 3000. He finished third overall, the highest position a rookie had managed in the series that year. He had contract issues and never got to drive for the Arrows, but earned himself a test with Benetton in which he impressed, so much so the team signed him up in a test role for 2001.
He was replaced in this seat in 2002 by Fernando Alonso, but Webber’s then-manager Flavio Briatore managed to secure him a role in a race seat for the first time, at the Minardi team. He was the first Australian in Formula 1 since David Brabham in 2004.

His Formula 1 debut was on home soil in Melbourne, and he finished an incredible 5th after qualifying 18th after a massive crash forced a eight cars into premature retirement. That was Webber’s only points throughout the entire season, but even still he did enough to attract the attention of Jaguar for 2003.

He impressed with the midfield runners managing 3rd on the grid twice, and finished 10th in the drivers’ championship. He had a very disappointing 2004 though as Jaguar dropped further and further down the pecking order, and that was to be his last year driving under the Jaguar name, as they sold their team to Red Bull and Webber departed for Williams.
Mark Webber driving for Williams at Interlagos in 2006 - Photo © Williams/LAT

The once great Williams team were stuck in a rut and were rapidly slipping towards the back of the grid. In 2005 Webber managed 10th place in the championship, with the following year even more disappointing, hampered by reliability issues. He ended the season with just seven points and left the team at the end of the year for Red Bull, the team he was at under the Jaguar name two years before.

In stark contrast to Williams, Red Bull were a team on the up thanks to a substantial financial injection from the energy drink manufacturer. Webber teamed up with Scot David Coulthard. However the RB3 was very unreliable and despite showing glimpses of brilliance such as taking third at the German Grand Prix, he wasn’t yet able to show his true potential. He was running 2nd at Fuji before being wiped out by future teammate Sebastian Vettel, a rivalry which would spiral upwards and come to a head three years later, in 2010.
Mark Webber driving for Red Bull at Monaco in 2008 - Photo © Red Bull/Getty Images
Despite not scoring any podiums in 2008, Webber went one better than the year before and took 11th in the drivers’ championship ahead of teammate David Coulthard. He consistently scored points over the first half of the season, but the RB4′s pace dropped off as the races wore on and he found it more and more difficult to keep up near the front.
He had no such trouble in 2009 though, when Webber took his first ever Grand Prix win after 130 races in waiting, despite being handed a drive-through penalty at the Nurburgring. The quick RB5 couldn’t match the Brawn GP car driven by Jenson Button in the opening races of the season, but as the races went by Webber was ever nearer to the front. Sadly, a mixture of driver error and reliability issues led to a 4th position overall at the end of the season. This is even more incredible considering a horrendous bike crash at the start of the season threatened his career altogether.
2010 was a very mixed year for Mark Webber, and was struggling at a team which was clearly favouring his younger teammate Sebastian Vettel. Their rivalry came to a head at the Turkish Grand Prix when the pair came to blows. Despite it being clearly Vettel’s fault, Webber came under fire from Red Bull’s motorsport consultant Dr Helmut Marko. However Webber used this as motivation and held the lead in the championship throughout a number of races, winning in Spain, Monaco, Britain and Hungary. He was the favourite to win the title going into the final three races of the season, but disaster struck when he crashed out of the inaugural Korean Grand Prix, and was unable to recover from that moment on.
Webber will continue at Red Bull into 2011.
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