MARK Webber says he is ‘lucky’ and excited to be opening the new Formula 1 season with a home grand prix in Melbourne this weekend.
The Aussie, who is based in Aston Clinton, is hoping to mount a title challenge this season after playing second fiddle to Red Bull teammate Seb Vettel for too long.
He said: “I always look forward to the Australian Grand Prix.
“Melbourne is a great place to kick-off the World Championship and I know I’m very lucky to have a home race.
“As an event, it’s very well organised and there’s always a good atmosphere because it’s well attended and Melbourne pretty much stops for race week. As for Albert Park, it’s a pretty good track.
“It has a few repetitive second-gear right-handers, but there are some rewarding corners as well, such as the quick chicane out the back and Turn 5, the little kink at the end of the first sector. There’s plenty to get your teeth into.
“This was the first race for DRS in 2011 and the DRS zone didn’t really work, so that’s something that the FIA will no doubt look into for this year.”
Albert Park was the scene of Mark’s F1 debut in 2002. He finished fifth for Minardi and he has a grandstand named after him at the track, The Mark Webber Stand which overlooks the final corner, Turn 16.