‘F1 world title just wasn’t meant to be’ says Webber

Mark Webber

Mark Webber

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Rubens Barrichello, Riccardo Patrese, David Coulthard, Felipe Massa and Stirling Moss are all names synonymous with good pedigree in Formula 1.

But when Mark Webber left the sport in December he joined those names in the not so exclusive club of more than 800 drivers who have tried but failed to win the F1 World Championship.

As noted in a special interview with the Aussie on BBC last week,though, few drivers leave Formula 1 with so many admirers having earned so few accolades.

Aston Clinton man Webber had a decorated career which warranted a an equally furnished trophy cabinet.

He was a proven race winner – claiming nine victories and an impressive 42 podiums.

But the Australian missed out on the ultimate prize, most agonisingly in 2010 when it had it all to lose, and so became another number in the statistics.

Webber told the BBC that he achieved his childhood dream just by making it into the sport.

But looking back, the Aylesbury College Trust patron believes that, while he knew he was never going to be an all-time great, he had what it takes to join that exclusive 32-man champions club.

“My dream as a kid growing up in Australia was to make it to F1,” the 37-year-old told BBC.

“I think I did my absolute best at the time. I never would have thought I would have had a grand prix career of 215 races and banging out 42 podiums and some very special victories.

“You’re measured on championships so do I see myself in the same calibre as some of the single world champions in the sport? I do see that. I don’t have it but I’m still very proud of what I achieved.

“Am I as good as multiple world champions? Probably not.”

Webber came closest to a title in 2010. Leading by 16 points with three races to go, he somehow left the season finale in Abu Dhabi 14 behind Vettel.

“That was a special year, but it just wasn’t meant to be,” he said.

Webber is now focusing on resuming his endurance motorsport career when he races sports cars for Porsche, starting with the Six Hours of Silverstone in just over three months’ time.