JULY 28, 2004
Jaguar says Webber will stay this year
Jaguar Racing has announced that Mark Webber is leaving the team at the end of the season but says that the Australian driver "will continue to race for Jaguar until the end of the 2004 season and will remain integral to the development of the Jaguar R5". Webber has been with the team for two seasons and has been an important element in improving Jaguar's performance, although he has often been let down by the reliability of his equipment.
"We have all enjoyed working with Mark over the past two years and the relationship that has developed between him and the team has been one of trust and mutual respect," said David Pitchforth, Jaguar's managing-director. "We have all learned an incredible amount over these two seasons as Mark has grown as a driver while our racing package has developed to challenge for points. Mark has now reached a stage where he needs to continue this progress and pursue race wins. We understand his decision and respect it. When Mark wins his World Championship we will all be celebrating with the rest of them, proud to have helped him on his way."
But Pitchforth made it clear that Williams is not going to get the team's star driver before the end of the year.
"Mark will race with us until the end of this season, ensuring that we all continue to focus on fighting for more Championship points which we know we can achieve with our drivers and the Jaguar R5."
It remains to be seen whether Williams is going to continue to try to get Webber early but the message is clear that Mark is not for sale.
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