Webber signed as Benetton test driver

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The Independent Online

Benetton have signed Mark Webber as a test driver for the 2001 Formula One season. The 24-year-old, born in Australia but now a resident of Buckinghamshire, will support Giancarlo Fisichella and Jenson Button next season.

Benetton have signed Mark Webber as a test driver for the 2001 Formula One season. The 24-year-old, born in Australia but now a resident of Buckinghamshire, will support Giancarlo Fisichella and Jenson Button next season.

Webber tested for the British-based team twice last season and will take up duties next month at Jerez in Spain. He was third in the Formula 3000 Championship this year, his first season, driving for the Arrows team.

Webber said: "I'm very excited to have such a great opportunity ahead of me next year and to be linking up with two of the most respected names in Formula One - Benetton and Renault. It is a great opportunity for me to get some mileage and experience in a Formula One car - I can learn a lot from working with a top team. I'm also delighted I can race next year in F3000, so I can keep my racing skills honed."

Flavio Briatore, the Benetton managing director, added: "When Webber tested the B200 this year we were impressed by his attitude and his skill. I'm happy we can give him the opportunity to develop his Formula One experience as well as give him the chance to race in Formula 3000."

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