The BMW WilliamsF1 Team confirmed today that Mark Webber has signed for the team for the 2005 season and beyond. The signing of the highly acclaimed 27 year-old Australian reflects a long-term mutual interest between team and driver.
"Mark is self-evidently a highly talented driver," said BMW WilliamsF1 Team Principal Frank Williams, "But his tenacity, determination and motivation are also qualities we prize at WilliamsF1. As a team, we have traditionally prospered with drivers who have a down-to-earth, 'let's get on with it' attitude. Mark is certainly in that mould, and I am delighted he has agreed to join the team for 2005."
Webber is already in with the Williams crowd
For his part, Webber said on the signing of the agreement, "The deal I have agreed with Williams today really is the most significant milestone in my career to date, and I have great expectations of what we can achieve together. Of course I am focused on my job with Jaguar Racing for the remainder of this season, but I cannot wait to take up my position with the BMW WilliamsF1 Team for next year."
Besides having a history of success, the team has a reputation for a no-nonsense and straightforward approach to racing, which suits me just fine. Mark Webber has over a decade of motor racing experience, and has never failed to impress at every stage of his career. He rose to prominence in Formula One in his debut race in Melbourne in 2002, when he claimed a stunning 5th place for Minardi.
Sam Michael, WilliamsF1's Technical Director, sees the signing as more important than simply attracting a future World Champion to the team. "Mark is the kind of character who will give a whole new impetus to everyone employed at WilliamsF1 and at BMW. He is a driven person with one goal. Mark displays to me all of the characteristics on and off the track of a champion in the making, and I believe he will be a significant catalyst in improving our future results," he said.