Mark Webber has admitted that this weekend probably offers him the greatest chance of winning his home grand prix, but insists that Red Bull Racing isn't yet the automatic choice for victory in Melbourne.
Despite having been tipped for Australian Grand Prix success in previous years, but always seeming to run into reliability problems, Webber finds himself approaching the 2010 edition in one of the leading teams and with more than just race wins on the agenda. Having finished fourth in the championship standings last year, and with RBR the most dominant team at the end of 2009, he is being listed among the potential title challengers this season, but admits that taking the chequered flag first in Albert Park would be a special moment.
"It would be a beautiful feeling, of course - I don't think there is any driver that would not like to have a chance to win their home grand prix," he noted, "I am very lucky to have a home grand prix as not every driver on the grid has a home race.
"I have been coming here for a long time and the car is performing very well, so we have the best opportunity to have a crack at it, but you need everything perfect, everything needs to be executed right. It would be a beautiful feeling and it would be up there with Monaco as [one of] a few special events you would like to win. Brazil was special as it was a race where Ayrton Senna and people like that raced on the same track, the same podium, so that had a lot of history to it, but here, as your home race, it would be nice.
"I have seen Mick Doohan win on motorbikes at Phillip Island and to win a world championship event in your own backyard is clearly a special day for any sportsman or woman. There is always pressure at this level - you always want to do the best job for the team, yourself, everyone, but that is why we enjoy it. It is exciting to go out there and see if you can do it again.
"The more times you experience [winning], obviously you have more composure about how you control the race yourself - so [I'm] hoping I get in that position again this year, and try and do it as often as possible."
Having taken the last three races of 2009, and claimed pole position for the 2010 season-opener in Bahrain, Red Bull Racing is clearly the form team in F1, but Webber is quick to play down suggestions that the RB6 is quite as good as some people are making out, especially as team-mate Sebastian Vettel was forced to cede the lead in round one with engine problems.
"The last time I looked at the constructors' [championship], we were not leading it, so we have work to do," he claimed, "Pace is one thing, but we need to execute clean weekends. We showed last year that we have the people to do this, and we did it many times, so we want to try get back on that way as soon as possible, [but] those types of perfect weekends are very, very difficult to pull off.
"Ferrari had a few plates spinning themselves in that [Bahrain] race, as they had some problems with their cars, [but] they got their cars home. They deserved a one-two, as they did the best job. However, we will go here with some great optimism for our programme and [knowing] we can do a very, very solid job, but it's not like we're waking up in the morning going 'there's no one else on the track with us.' There are some serious boys here."