Webber “unlikely” to beat Barrichello’s starts record

2013 F1 seasonPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Mark Webber, Red Bull, Bahrain International Circuit, 2013Mark Webber doubts he will remain in Formula One long enough to beat Rubens Barrichello’s record for starting the most races.

Webber started his 200th race last weekend. Barrichello competed in 322 grands prix before retiring from F1 at the end of 2011.

Speaking on the Red Bull television channel Servus TV, Webber said: “I think 17 years in Formula One, I think that record will stay for a long time.”

“I think think 328 or 326 races* is a special, special career. Very, very long. I think that it’s going to be very, unlikely that I will challenge Rubens’ grand prix entries from my side.”

Webber’s contract with Red Bull expires at the end of this season. He said he will tackle the next races on the calendar before giving any consideration to his future:

“I think that the performance is still good at the moment, that’s the main thing. As long as I’m hungry, have good drive and enjoy the work, that’s the important thing.”

“I think towards the summer we will make a plan, like I always do. I have never made a plan in my future seasons in April before so I’m probably not going to start now. Looking forward to Barcelona, Monaco, the races coming ahead. And then we make some plans.

“But I’m still feeling very hungry, still have some very good results inside me so that’s the most important thing and I’ll focus on the next race like I’ve always done.”

*Barrichello entered 326 races and started 322.

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47 comments on “Webber “unlikely” to beat Barrichello’s starts record”

  1. Webber staying another 6-7 years to do notch up 126 starts is unlikely given he’s already 34 years old. At 31 years, one Fernando Alonso could easily go for another 6-7 seasons.

    1. Webber’s already 36 actually. Jenson Button is already the most experienced on the current grid, and given he started in F1 younger than many, I’d say Jenson’s the next man to beat Barrichello’s record. But like you say, Fernando could easily beat it too.

      1. @jackysteeg He is indeed 36 now. I stand corrected. Yeah JB could break the record too if he keeps at it.

      2. @jackysteeg Personally I don’t see any merit in that record of Barichello’s

    2. @tomcat173 Alonso is a person who will retire once he finds tht he isnt good enough and his team mate is beating him. So, if ALO can stay at the top of his game for 4 seasons, then it is possible

      1. Doesn’t alonsos contract go till the end of 2016? That’s four seasons including this one

  2. Slow news day? It is obvious that Webber is not going to be in Formula One until he’s 42 or 43 which is what he would need to break the record. Button has the best chance given he’s been in F1 since he was 20, and shows no sign of slowing down just yet.

    1. @debaser91 I don’t agree it is “obvious”: just last year we had two drivers in their forties racing in F1.

      At any rate this is a driver from the most competitive team over the last four years giving an indication how much longer he may continue occupying that seat, which I think is definitely worth knowing.

    2. Slow news day?

      And yet somehow you were compelled to click the link and read the story…

      As Keith said, knowing how Webber is currently viewing his future in F1 and with Red Bull is where the interest in this story lies. A lot was being made of the fact that he would be doing this interview with Servus TV, and many of us wanted to know what came out of it.

    3. Schum was so “old” to return, yet he drove for 3 more years.

      Webber is not Schum at all (skills-wise) but he can be in good physical conditions to do it if he wants. But Red Bull looks like a closed chapter for him at the end of this year.

      “I think that the performance is still good at the moment, that’s the main thing. As long as I’m hungry, have good drive and enjoy the work, that’s the important thing.”

      This 2 last years he’s not enjoying the work. But Monaco can give him his chance to shine and grin again

  3. I would like to see him in F1 next year, but where is he going to go? Another season with Red Bull seems very unlikely unless there is shock departure from Sebastian Vettel. I think he should have taken Ferrari up on their offer last year (especially now we know the Ferrari is so quick). He could have driven in red for a year or two and then gracefully bowed out. With Massa’s (relative) resurgence in form, I doubt he will get another offer this year.

    That doesn’t leave many teams that could offer him a seat, especially with all other teams except McLaren expecting some sort of sponsorship to be brought along. The most likely option would be a switch between Webber and Kimi Raikkonen, but even then I think Lotus have other drivers lined up.

    1. I agree. Should’ve signed for Ferrari. I bet somewhere inside he regrets that decision…

      1. I suppose the fact that at Ferrari it’s unlikely that he would be permitted to win even a single race might have had something to do with that decision?

      2. which “good” driver would like to be Fernando’s butler? I am glad they are keeping Massa and have not signed Bianchi / Webber because that would be horrible.

      3. He was offered a drive at Renault for 2005 – I bet he regrets that decision too.

        And it was rumored in 2011 that he would move to Renault – now Lotus – for the 2012 season, to take what eventually became Kimi’s seat. I’m afraid when he retires his career will be summed up in the words “What might have been ..”

        1. @jonsan He can be swapped with Kimi, as like their engineers…

        2. @jonsan – well, he did also spend 2 years in the fastest car and 2 years in one of the fastest cars; the only way he was unfortunate in those instances is that he was paired with Sebastain Vettel!

          About the Renault offer though, would that mean he’d have been paired with Alonso? I couldn’t see him doing anything more than he’s done in Red Bull if that were the case either…

          1. There’s no way of knowing, but I rather think he’d have out-qualified Alonso at any rate.

          2. It seems he joined WIlliams because that is who the last Australian WDC,Alan Jones, drove for, and he wanted to emulate his hero’s feat.

      4. @roald Maybe Webber wanted to be a ‘Rooster’ at Ferrari .. LoL

  4. I don’t think we will be seeing Mark in F1 for too much longer, though it obviously depends how well he does this season. It’s obvious that Mark biggest problem is Vettel, I don’t think he was able to properly deal with the fact that he lost the 2010 World Championship to Seb in its final stages and has struggled to cope with his dominance ever since. That’s the problem with having a successful team mate, unfortunately, and the longer Seb goes on winning whilst Mark is left with relatively little, the harder its going to be for Mark to deal with feelings of envy with regards to Vettel’s success and self-doubt in his own capabilities.

    I know Red Bull have the fastest car, and that staying in Red Bull is realistically his best chance at a title, but I think Mark would benefit psychologically from moving to another team. I always thought he’d be well suited at McLaren, maybe as a replacement for Perez if things don’t work out.

    1. In what terms is the Red Bull the fastest car on the grid? Straight line speed ? Pit lane speed ? Or you mean the car+driver combination on one lap distance ? Or race distance ? That Red Bull is driven by Vettel 85% of the time. Webber has 3-4 GPs a year on avarage when he is unbeatable.

      1. Apologies, perhaps I should have said that Red Bull are the best all round team instead of saying they have the fastest car. I think that’s fair to say. Their reliability is second to none, the car itself is one of the best overall, their pitstops are excellent, their strategy generally works, etc. It’s a great team, and Mark’s lucky to have a drive there. It’s just a shame he also has Sebastian Vettel as a team mate.

        Also, being unbeatable at 3-4 GPs a year makes you a great driver. World Championships have been won with that or less (e.g. 1982, 1983, 1987 and more).

        1. But at the rest of them, Vettel makes Webber look like a mediocre driver, which is his problem; he is capable of great things, but they don’t happen often enough for him to be considered a great, then they are overshadowed by the lacklustre performances at the other GPs, which further compounds that fact.

    2. “I always thought he’d be well suited at McLaren”

      …or at Ferrari in “Flavio’s Super Team”.

      1. Yeah, the only problem with tht is Mark resistance to be number 2… so I would love to see Dominicalli giving the order to allow Fernando to win a race… will be gold and I would pay for it!!!!

  5. Nothing surprising here. Even though the amount of races have increased a bit, Webber was 25 while Barrichello started at 20.

  6. Unsurprising, but still sad :(. I for one, hope Mark manages to reach 300 race starts (and hopefully end up beating Barrichello’s record)

  7. This was always going to be the case.
    Webber was comparatively late into Formula One, starting his first race at 25.

    Not really news.

  8. Get your act together, man, and win Barcelona and Monaco again…!

  9. What were the 4 race Barrichello entered but didn’t start?

    I can only remember 3: Imola ’94, Spa ’98 and Spain ’02.

    Spa should be counted as a start, he completed the warm-up lap and got away from the line the first time around.

    Was there one from the Honda days?

    1. Wikipedia tells me he didn’t start France 2002 either.

      1. @debaser91 Yes, I still remember watching in dismay as his car was still on its jacks when the formation lap started in that race.

    2. I sill remember the “mistake” Ferrari made once leavng Rubens with a nose support. He was on pole right? If I were Rubens, I would have resigned the next day. Money would have not been a reason to stay for sure. This guys make so much money they should kick the table whenever their honor as a racer is played down

  10. Webbers “tragedy” is that he made his debut in F1 with about the same age as Sebastian Vettel is now, as a three times world champion…
    and here’s a quickly improvised chart about the debut year of the current drivers, and if you watch this, it might be looking a bit like unhealty. rotation is a neccessary thing in F1, but the transition is a bit like distorted. three groups are shaping up, a small one with the most experince, including Webber, another small one in the middle, with quite a few years behind them, and a huge group with the minimal experience. almost 50%, 9 drivers did not have more than at most 2 years behind them, and considering the amount of testing opportunities nowadays a rookie can get, it is scary… so that’s why it would be very important to have the ones like Webber on board, maybe not for another 6-7 seasons, but until he can perform on a solid level.

    so, picture:

    1. http://imagerz.com/QE5GWUtvAwMBBFMYEAVQ

      (looks like the href does not work, or i messed up something, so here it is, sorry)

    2. Maldonado and Van der Garde started a few seasons later than they could have, we are missing Kubica (2006) and Di Resta could also have started a season or two earlier if it was possible Imo. Bianchi could also have started a little earlier, but that gap 2003-2006 is a little puzzling.

      1. Michael Brown (@)
        24th April 2013, 18:49

        That’s a list of the current F1 race drivers, which is why Kubica isn’t there.

    3. Looking at those 3 seasons I find Liuzzi, Klien, Glock, Karthikeyan who were racing F1 until recent times, but dropped out after not being in established top teams. I can see Webber, Massa or Sutil as the next to go from the established drivers, then the long time champions, and I’ll guess some of the rookies that don’t make the grade leave after a few years, allowing in hopefully some junior formulae champions. But you’ve got to say that looking at the whole grid, they are all pretty much multiple champions in the junior formulae, with the odd exception.

  11. Go home Mark.

  12. My impression is that a lot of people who started following F1 from 2007 onwards don’t realize how highly regarded Webber once was. Keith should have done a Webber retrospective to go with the Alonso one.

    Just a couple of highlights – he was voted Rookie Of The Year in 2002. In the woeful Jaguars of 2003 and 2004 he accomplished impressive things, including qualifying third at Brazil 2003 and second at Malaysia 2004, splitting the dominant Ferrari’s. Imagine Daniel Ricciardo putting the Torro Rosso on the front row this year – it was that remarkable. He qualified third in Japan the same season.

    If you’d asked fans at the end of 2008 “Who is the best driver on the current grid who has not won the WDC?” most would have said Webber. These days he’s regarded by many as a below average plonker, which seems quite unfair.

    1. “If you’d asked fans at the end of 2008 “Who is the best driver on the current grid who has not won the WDC?” most would have said Webber. These days he’s regarded by many as a below average plonker, which seems quite unfair.”
      How true this statement.
      Up until Red Bull and Vettel,Webber always managed to out perform his teammates including the likes of Nico Rosberg at Williams.
      Webber was unlucky that he didn’t get a start in F1 until he was a fair bit older than the average so i don’t see him beating the Barrichello record.In fact,i would be surprised if we was in F1 next season.

      1. I agree, he was regarded highly before the arrival of Vettel. Which just goes to show how good Seb really is, making a driver of Webbers caliber look second rate. I do think a change in environment would do him good.

    2. Agree. Webber is an excellent driver whose F1 career has unfortunately been dogged by bad luck; unreliability at Williams, team moves which in hindsight have not been the most sensible, injury and being paired with golden child Vettel. Its unfortunate that these have the effect of Mark being labelled a journeyman rather than the skilled driver he actually is – I don’t care who you are, you don’t come *that* close to winning a WDC unless you are a great driver. Heres hoping history will judge Mark less harshly than some on here.

    3. @jonsan @pink-peril @melchior

      That’s true, Webber is really good. He also got on the front row with Williams at Monaco 2006, and was in contention for a podium, but had a mechanical issue.

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