How old is Mark Calcavecchia's wife

Mark Webber's partner: We are soul mates

(Motorsport-Total.com) - Ex-Red Bull driver Mark Webber does not meet the stereotype of the racing driver who carries his wife as a trophy in front of him. The Australian has been with his manager and explorer Ann Neal for almost twenty years. At that time, Webber was around 18 years old and his partner was already 31. The two only made their relationship publicly after his Grand Prix debut at the Australian Grand Prix in 2002, when the now 38-year-old surprisingly crossed the finish line in fifth in the defeated Minardi came.

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Mark Webber and Ann Neal have been a professional Zoom couple for around 20 years

"The relationship with Ann has certainly become more serious," said Webber in an interview with the British television station 'ABC', which is interviewing the family. "Mum may have had some problems with the age difference. I'm trying to catch up with Annie, but the age difference is still the same," he jokes. "Maybe Mum wasn't a big fan of it." Mother Diane Webber agrees: "In the beginning, yes. It was very, very bumpy. But now we get along well."

Neal already had a son, Luke Barrett, who is not much younger than Webber himself. "I never saw Mark as a father figure, but as an older brother," says Barrett: "We played Xbox a little together." The strange team had to cope with the alienation of the environment, as Neal explains: “It wasn't always easy.” Mark and I kept our relationship a secret. Quite simply because I didn't think it would be the right message if I talked to a team boss or a sponsor. "

"If I had walked in on them and said, 'Um, my partner, my friend ...' it would have just sounded stupid. I knew the sport well enough to know my terrain and I got it (Webber; Editor's note) yes, it would have been an incredibly tough fight in the first few years. "

Professional jealousy

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Melbourne 2002: The debut of the Aussie was like a victory for Minardi

Still, Neal wasn't the only woman in Webber's life. As a schoolboy, he hooked up with a girl in Australia. Neal wasn't thrilled: "To be honest, I was angry about his career. I just knew it was wrong. He couldn't just afford to have a girlfriend in Australia while he was trying to get one to pursue a professional career in Europe. " It even went so far that Webber briefly ended his love and work relationship with Neal, but at some point today's WEC Porsche driver called his ex-partner: "I want to come home."

She forgave him, even though the youngster had previously proven ungrateful for Neal's hard work. But it was not until 2002 that Webber and Neal admitted their relationship. She still had to hold back the emotions in Melbourne when he managed that feat of fifth place in the debut and home race in the Minardi. "I thought, 'Wow, he just achieved that.' But I couldn't be too enthusiastic about it. I think we just got out of it bit by bit. "

The couple were spared bad headlines in the tabloid media. From the British point of view, the two belong together like bad luck and brimstone. "In the end you would say that we are soul mates," she says in the direction of the nine-time Grand Prix winner.