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Webber gets chance to prove himself

7/28/2004

LONDON -- Australian Mark Webber will switch from Jaguar to drive for Williams in 2005.

The 27-year-old joined Jaguar in 2003 from Minardi and will
continue driving for the team for the rest of this season.

Williams will lose Ralf Schumacher, currently injured, and
Juan Pablo Montoya at the end of the season.

"The deal I have agreed with Williams today really is the
most significant milestone in my career to date, and I have
great expectations of what we can achieve together," Webber said
in a statement.

"Besides having an amazing history of success, the team has
a reputation for a no-nonsense and straightforward approach to
racing, which suits me just fine."

No details were given of the length of Webber's contract
although Williams said it reflected a "long-term" mutual
interest between the driver and the team.

"Mark is self-evidently a highly talented driver," said team
boss Frank Williams. "But his tenacity, determination and
motivation are also qualities we prize at Williams."

Webber has 23 points from 44 Grand Prix starts. He finished
fifth in his debut at the Australian race in 2002 and scored all
but one of Jaguar's 18 points last season.

He finished sixth at last weekend's German Grand Prix and
qualified second alongside Michael Schumacher's Ferrari in
Malaysia in March.

"Mark has now reached a stage where he needs to continue his
progress and pursue race wins. We understand his decision and
respect it," said Jaguar managing director David Pitchforth.

Ralf, brother of world champion Michael, will move to Toyota
next season while Colombian Montoya leaves for McLaren after a
disappointing season for Williams.

They have scored 47 points and lie fourth in the
constructors' table.

Webber's move was announced shortly after Renault said
Italian Giancarlo Fisichella would join their team from Sauber.