His Red Bull Racing team-mate Sebastian Vettel has already had a grandstand at the Nürburgring named after him, so it seems only fair that Mark Webber should be similarly honoured on his own home turf in Melbourne – and Albert Park has done just that.
A new seating area at the home of the Australian Grand Prix has been named after the country's latest F1 winner – situated in-between the Fangio and Senna stands and overlooking both the final corner, Turn 16, and also the start-finish straight – and it will officially open to fans on Friday for opening practice ahead of the second round on the F1 2010 World Championship calendar this weekend.
In dominating last season's German Grand Prix, Webber not only broke his own duck in the top flight at the 130th attempt, but he also ended a winless drought for his nation stretching all the way back to the 1981 Caesars Palace Grand Prix in Las Vegas, when title-winning compatriot Alan Jones had last ascended the top step of the podium for Williams.
The result made the 33-year-old only the third of his countrymen ever to triumph in F1, and in recognition of that, the New South Wales native was welcomed back to his home town of Queanbeyan in a special motorcade on Monday, prior to a civic reception at the Council Chambers.
“Queanbeyan is proud of all of its sporting stars and is honoured to have such high-quality sportspeople representing it,” underlined city mayor Tim Overall. “The people of Queanbeyan have followed Mark's career closely, and the town celebrated as one when he crossed the finish line in Germany to record his first grand prix victory. Such an amazing performance deserves to be honoured.”