Mark Webber has conceded that his run of poor getaways this season have been down to failing to perfect his technique, rather than any anxiety about matching Red Bull Racing team-mate Sebastian Vettel off the line.
With qualifying not always going his way - he has three poles to Vettel's twelve so far in 2011 - the Australian knows that a good start is imperative if he is to remain on terms with the world champion, but has frequently gone backwards off the line rather than forwards. Webber, however, insists that he is not overly tense as he sits on the grid, but rather insists that he has simply not pulled together the various elements required for a perfect launch.
"I think it is the coordination of getting things right together - clutch, throttle, DRS, you name it - to get an optimal start from whichever side of the grid you're on," he admitted to the official F1 website, "I would say that it's been 50:50, me and the car. I have been speaking with my guys and they know that I'm pretty relaxed on the line and that it is not down to nerves, as I had very good starts last year. As I just said, it is about getting everything together and probably, at the moment, it's not quite consistent enough for me to get the starts that I need."
Naturally, being unable to gain places at the start has left Webber on the back foot in races, although it still remains surprising that he has yet to win a race in 2011. While the RB7 remains the car to beat - and eight podium finishes underline that there has been little drop-off in Webber's ability - the Australian admits that he would love to make the breakthrough at Suzuka this weekend.
"It is a flowing track and I definitely love to race here, [so] let's wait and see," he suggested, "Seb wants to win the championship here and I want to win the race, so we'll have to wait until Sunday to see whose wish gets going. Suzuka is a rewarding track for all the drivers - there are not many tracks around where you can feel an F1 car breath, [but] here you feel that the car really loves to be driven, hoping that the guys put them on the limit. It is a real challenge."
Prior to the Belgian Grand Prix, where it was announced that he signed another one-year extension to his ongoing Red Bull contract, such was his form that Webber was rumoured to be considering a switch away from Red Bull, or even heading into retirement. Instead, and in spite of his lack of victories this season, the Australian insists that he'll be around for some time to come.
"If I can keep up the racing I'm doing now, I think that retirement is overrated," he allowed, "I think the first few weeks it's nice, but then... I enjoy my driving and I like the challenge on this level - and, if you have the possibility to do this, then why walk away?