On 27 February 2005 Mark Webber did ’10 laps’ of Sydney Harbour Bridge in his Williams FW26B BMW F1 car…
Webber had just joined Williams from Jaguar and much was expected of his shift to a top team. The Harbour Bridge run promotion was part of the build up to that years AGP held at Albert Park on 6 March.
The Bridge, a critical part of Sydney’s traffic flow was closed for 5 hours for the sortie which itself took only 10 minutes, he was flagged away by New South Wales Premier, Bob Carr.
The 2004 spec, V10 engined car was based at the City end of the Bridge and went backwards and forwards between the CBD and Kirribilli, Mark flicking the car to make the ‘tight u turns’ required. The FW26, a race winning car in Juan Pablo-Montoya’s hands in 2004, was fitted with wets in deference to Sydney’s ‘moody weather’ on the day.
Webber’s two seasons with Williams were not especially successful ones although 2005, 10th in the Drivers Championship, 3rd place at Monaco his best was better than 2006 when he was 14th in the standings. The move to the nascent Red Bull team the following year was the critical move to get into an ultimately race-winning team/car. And some celebrated duels with ‘enfant-terrible’ teammate Sebastian Vettel!
Giancarlo Fisichella won the 2005 AGP, confirming the renaissance of Renault as a team, teammate Fernando Alonso won the first of his World Championships in 2005 in the 3 litre V10 Renault R25. Mark Webber qualified 3rd and finished 5th at Albert Park in a good start to the season.