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Webber extends Jaguar deal 09 May 2003

The media swarm around local boy Mark Webber (AUS) Jaguar.
Formula One World Championship, Rd1, Australian Grand Prix, Preparations, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, 6 March 2003

Mark Webber has signed a new agreement with Jaguar Racing that will keep him with the team until the end of 2005, it was announced on Friday.

Webber had been contracted until the end of 2003, but his new deal with the British squad means his seat in Formula One is now secure for a further two seasons.

"I hope that, by making this announcement so early in the season, people will realise just how serious both our intentions are to firmly establish Jaguar's place in Formula One," said the Australian driver.

"We know it's not going to happen overnight, so I'm very happy that we've made this commitment now and can continue the hard work we've already started this year.

"For me personally and as a driver, I'm very excited by the prospect of being involved in what is a long-term objective, and to see our goals being realised as we make further progress over the next two years."

Webber joined Jaguar last November after completing his debut Formula One season with Minardi. He scored their first points of 2003 at last weekend's Spanish Grand Prix and has posted some strong qualifying performances, including third in Brazil and fifth in San Marino.

"Mark is an outstanding talent and everyone at Jaguar Racing is naturally delighted that the partnership will extend to the end of the 2005 season," said Jaguar Racing's Managing Director David Pitchforth.

"Mark's start to the season has been very impressive and his approach to racing is very professional - both inside and outside the cockpit - and we see Mark as an integral part of our long-term development.

"His natural abundance of skill and commitment provide a considerable impetus for the team to continue strengthening at all levels of the business and in the process, take our challenge to teams further up the grid."

Jaguar finished seventh in last year's constructors' championship with eight points, all scored by Eddie Irvine.