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RISE OF THE ROOKIE: Mark Webber’s journey from dirt bike rider to F1 championship contender

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Upon entering the sport in 2002, Mark Webber became the 16th Formula 1 driver from Australia, before becoming a nine-time race winner and a championship contender during his years with Red Bull.

Webber started out riding motorcycles as a child before making the switch to karting as a teenager. And after taking part in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1998, Webber made his first F1 test for Arrows in 1999 at the Circuit de Catalunya.

After two years as a reserve driver for Benetton, the Australian was given the Minardi seat in 2002, before making the switch to Jaguar for the 2003 and 2004 seasons. Following two years driving for Williams, Webber made his way to the up-and-coming Red Bull Racing team and won his first race in Formula 1 at the 2009 German Grand Prix.

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Webber could never quite win that elusive Formula 1 World Championship, but did get close in 2010, as the title battle came down to the final race in Abu Dhabi, although it was his team mate Sebastian Vettel – with whom he shared a sometimes turbulent rivalry – who came out on top.

Take a look back at Webber’s journey with Aramco Presents: Rise of the Rookie in the video player above.

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