Mark Webber is ready to hit the track after a long European winter and now the hectic media schedule of a driver in his home country.
Speaking in Melbourne today ahead of this weekend's 2013 Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix, Webber expressed confidence in the Red Bull team's progress in testing.
"It’s very difficult to see a real pecking order. We’ve just always been focused on what we have to do and not really looked too hard at anyone else. The important thing now is just to get out to Melbourne and get on with the racing.”
Webber has appeared relaxed in the various media events leading up to the race, yesterday joking with the F1 press pack about his rumoured retirement.
“It’s all true. In fact I’m not even racing this weekend.”
Turning his attention to this weekend's opening round, Webber spoke of his desire to get stuck into the 2013 season.
“Looking at the first race, I think it’s going to be a tight grand prix. There are a lot of quick cars out there and hopefully we have one of them," he said.
"However, Melbourne is a very particular race, with very specific demands, so we’ll treat it as one race, then go to Malaysia and see how things shake up there."
Webber's best finish in Melbourne was fourth in 2012, the first time he had bettered his fifth-on-debut with Minardi and the veteran (and oldest active F1 driver) would like to add the Australian trophy to his collection of nine wins.
“I’ve been on the podiums at most tracks around the world and have won at quite a few circuits, and Melbourne is one which I would like to add to that," Webber said.
"I really enjoy driving at the track – the atmosphere is fantastic. The champagne will taste a little bit better if I get on the podium.”
Free Practice 1 begins on Friday at 12:30 with the race on Sunday scheduled for 5pm AEST.
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