Now considered a favourite for the 2010 world championship, Mark Webber has revealed he almost quit formula one several years ago.
Having impressed at Minardi and Jaguar, the Australian was signed for 2005 by grandee Williams, but the famous British team had concurrently begun its slide from the sport’s pinnacle.
“I got pretty low during my time with Williams,” admitted the 34-year-old, who subsequently switched to Red Bull, where he is now mere points from leading the drivers’ standings from Lewis Hamilton.
“I think most people at this level have similar levels of talent and you have to be the one who wants it the most. There was a stage when I didn’t,” said Webber.
He said his struggle with Williams went beyond a normal period of feeling burned out.
“I think a lot of people may want to throw the towel in at times,” said Webber. “But I considered it during my Williams days. That was very tough.
“I lost my motivation for about six months,” he explained. “I mean it is not like you are in other sports, where you can take some time off, maybe pick and choose your events.”
Even in 2010, winning more grands prix than any of his highly rated competitors like Hamilton, Fernando Alonso and teammate Sebastian Vettel, the Herald Sun newspaper said Webber is still enduring a tough time with pain from the leg he badly broke in late 2008.
“I have had a few niggles and dramas, but I won’t go into it too much,” he confirmed. “No, it is fine.”
Webber is signed up with Red Bull for the 2011 season, insisting he does not want to commit further in case the “fire” burns out.
“If I win that world championship, well, that may do me. I’d be a very content man.”
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