Mark Webber: ‘F1 drivers saying they sacrifice to be in the sport is bull***t’

Sam Cooper
Mark Webber speaking into a microphone. Bahrain, March 2022.

Mark Webber working as a pundit for Channel 4. Bahrain, March 2022.

Mark Webber has rubbished claims of F1 drivers saying they sacrificed to be in the sport, describing it as bull***t.

Getting into Formula 1 can be very demanding from not only a cost perspective but also a time one too with young drivers putting in hundreds of hours of practice per year from an early age.

Then there is the matter of often moving home with Europe largely still operating as the base for all things F1. Drivers like Daniel Ricciardo and Oscar Piastri made the move over from Australia and Webber was another but he said those kinds of things should not feel like a burden.

The nine-time race winner described any complaints of sacrifice as an “absolute load of bull***t” and said that you are on the back foot if you think like that.

“Let’s not beat around the bush, you’re paid a handsome sum of money to do a very, very phenomenal job,” he told the Performance Hackers podcast. “And that’s not a burden.

“I never spoke about sacrifices. People talking about sacrifices and ‘I gave a lot up’, I think that’s an absolute load of bullshit.

“Because if you want something enough and you know, these young drivers have come from Australia and [they say] ‘I have all these sacrifices’. Well, they aren’t. If it’s a sacrifice already then I think you’re on the back foot.”

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It seems that the former Minardi, Jaguar, Williams and Red Bull man was never too fazed by the pressure of his job even when he was on a one-year contract.

“It’s all upside for me in terms of exposing yourself and working with the best people and getting the best out of yourself. Even the last three years of my career, I was on a one-year contract, because I was right on the edge of being replaced,” he said.

“[That lit a] fire right behind me to continue to deliver and say ‘well I’m going to be renewed if I bring value to this operation, I bring value to myself and the people around me, my team, and I’ve got pride in how I go about it.'”

There was even a time when Webber was not afforded a year, revealing that his first ever contract in F1, with Minardi, was for just two races as Fernando Alonso’s replacement in 2002.

“My first contract in F1 was for two races, can you believe that? It was three weeks. So really brutal but I had no cards at the table. That’s how it was. So what am I going to do, spill milk or step up?”

Webber is the third-most successful Australian F1 driver behind World Champions Jack Brabham and Alan Jones.