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Webber leaving fastest lap mark

2011 DHL Fastest Lap Champion Mark Webber is not only leaving Red Bull and F1®, he is also leaving a fantastic fastest lap legacy.

Red Bull’s Aussie driver, Mark Webber, officially announced his retirement from Formula One® last week, ending a phenomenal 12-year career in motorsport’s elite series. The Australian will leave at the end of the season to race in Porsche’s new Le Mans and WEC sports car program for 2014.

The veteran pilot – at 36 currently the oldest man on the circuit – leaves behind a Formula One legacy that includes nine wins, 37 podiums, 11 pole positions and our favorite number: 15 Fastest Laps. Webber raced seven fastest laps in 2011 on his way to the DHL Fastest Laps Trophy – the second most fastest laps in one season since DHL began honoring fastest lap drivers in 2007.

Mark Webber’s Fastest Lap Results
20093
20103
20117 - DHL Fastest Lap Award Winner
20121
20132 so far
A winning season

 
In 2011, Mark Webber left no doubt that he was consistently the fastest man on the racetrack. He drove a stunning seven fastest laps throughout the season and was awarded the 2011 DHL Fastest Lap Award at the season’s final Grand Prix in Sao Paolo

Webber established an unassailable lead (six fastest laps to three) and clinched the award with one race of the season still remaining, at the 2011 Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

It was the first time the Australian had won the award after finishing runner-up in 2009.

“Mark Webber is a true international specialist, delivering speed across the globe,” said Joakim Thrane, Country Manager, DHL Express Brazil, when presenting Webber with the trophy in Sao Paolo alongside DHL’s F1 Expert and former F1 driver, Christian Danner. “His achievement in winning the award also shows that no team can be successful without the hard work and commitment of its individual team members, which is very important to us as the international specialists.”

Webber demonstrated a consistency throughout 2011 nearly second to none: he finished every race in the top five save the Italian Grand Prix, and he earned a spot on the winner’s podium no less than ten times.

Aussie grit
The Australian’s F1 career mirrored the consistent speed he displayed on the track in 2011 in that he displayed a consistent work ethic and never gave up despite a number of setbacks and close calls. He displayed true grit over his 12-year F1 career like few others – something that his Twitter handle, @AussieGrit, drives home.

Mark debuted on the Formula One stage on his home track, the Australian Grand Prix, in 2002, driving for Minardi. He turned some heads right away, scoring the team’s first points in three years. However, after a fairly disappointing first season, he moved to Jaguar in 2003 and began to find his drive. He edged into the top ten in the driver’s standings for part of the season and was awarded the 2003 “Driver of the Year” by Autocar magazine.

By 2005 the Australian had moved to Team Williams and up the leaderboard. He ended a solid season, which included his first trip to the podium in Monaco, in 10th place in the driver’s championship.

Red Bull
Webber joined Red Bull Racing in 2007 and has been with the team ever since, partnering first with British favorite, David Coulthard. He made the second podium trip of his F1 career at the European Grand Prix and nearly took the checkered flag in Japan. A number of misfortunes kept him from having what some thought would be a break-out year, leading the Australian to be described as the “unluckiest man in modern Formula One.”

But his never-give-up attitude shined through and in 2008 Aussie Grit paid off. He placed 11th in the Driver’s Championship – his best showing since 2005.

Sebastian Vettel joined Red Bull Racing alongside Webber in 2009, which some consider the Australian’s (albeit late) break-out season. Webber not only claimed his first pole position at the Nürburgring for the German Grand Prix, he also went on to win the race. He was the first Australian polesetter since Alan Jones in 1980.

In Hungary, Webber set his first ever Fastest Lap in Formula One and in Brazil he won his second F1 race. In the season finale in Abu Dhabi, the Australian took second behind teammate Vettel, securing the fourth Red Bull 1-2 of the year. He finished fourth overall on the driver’s table.

10 podiums in 2010
After years of solid driving and hard work, the now veteran pilot had a banner year in 2010 – qualifying for five pole positions, winning four races and joining the champagne podium shower another six times. He finished the season third in the Driver’s Championship behind teammate Vettel and Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso.

After his stellar flurry of fastest laps that led to the 2011 DHL Fastest Lap Award and another third place finish in the driver’s standings, Webber’s 2012 season left something to be desired. Although he chalked up two wins in the first half of the season, he struggled in the second half and only managed to reach the podium alongside Vettel in Korea and India.

Going out with a bang?
Currently sitting in fifth place overall and coming off back-to-back Fastest Laps in Montreal and Silverstone, Webber’s announcement last week came as a bit of a surprise. With three podiums and six top-seven finishes this year, this Aussie looks as if he wants to go out with a bang. We sure would like to see it!

We have certainly enjoyed watching Mark show true Aussie Grit over the years and we look forward to seeing the Aussie tear up the tracks at Le Mans and WEC – as Official Logistics Partner of the World Endurance Championship, we’ll be there!

Thanks Mark!

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