Jaguar Racing announced today that after two years with the team, Mark Webber the much liked Australian driver, has chosen to contend the 2005 F1 season with BMW-WilliamsF1. Mark Webber will continue to race for Jaguar until the end of the 2004 season and will remain integral to the development of the Jaguar R5 until close of season.
Having first joined the team at the end of 2002, after a year with what was at the time, the KL Minardi Asiatech Formula One Team, Mark soon became a firm favourite with Jaguar Racing. Under newly-installed Managing Director, David Pitchforth, Mark and the team demonstrated clear improvement in 2003 with the team finishing 7th in the Constructors Championship and Mark 10th overall in the Driver's Championship. The 2004 challenger, the R5 has again allowed Mark to continue strengthening with the team while also sharing some strong results, most notably qualifying second alongside the Ferrari of Michael Schumacher at the Malaysian Grand Prix this year and deservedly finishing in an impressive 6th place at last weekend's German Grand Prix - a race he started from 11th on the grid. It is with these results and progress in mind that Jaguar Racing thank Mark for his contribution to the team and wish him well in his pursuit of further success.
David Pitchforth, commented, "We have all enjoyed working with Mark over the past two years and the relationship that has developed between him and the team has been one of trust and mutual respect. We have all learned an incredible amount over these two seasons as Mark has grown as a driver while our racing package has developed to challenge for points. Mark has now reached a stage where he needs to continue this progress and pursue race wins. We understand his decision and respect it. I would like to thank him on behalf of Jaguar Racing, Cosworth Racing and Pi Research for his unwavering commitment to the team and we will monitor his progress to the top with great pleasure. When Mark wins his World Championship we will all be celebrating with the rest of them, proud to have helped him on his way. Mark will race with us until the end of this season, ensuring that we all continue to focus on fighting for more Championship points which we kno we can achieve with our drivers and the Jaguar R5."
Mark Webber said, "Jaguar is one of the most emotive and successful names in motor racing and one that I am incredibly proud to have had the opportunity to race for. During the past two years I have had the pleasure to work with some amazingly talented people from whom I have been inspired and motivated. Formula One is a very, very tough environment in which to work and to do well in. But the camaraderie amongst the team and the efforts that the boys - both at the Jaguar Racing factory and at the track - go to is very, very special and I'd like to thank them for all their hard work. The R4 last year was a good foundation from which I learnt a lot and then the Jaguar R5 this year has again been a step up in the right direction. The team is incredibly focused on the task ahead and I can honestly say that in all my racing years I have never been as close to a team as I have been here with Jaguar Racing. However, I have now made the decision to move on for 2005 and look to progress my career with my new team BMW-WilliamsF1. I am looking forward to the new challenges next year but for the remainder of this season I will be doing nothing other than focusing on what more I can achieve here. The R5 is more than capable of scoring points and with that in mind I will be going to Hungary committed to fighting for another points finish."