Mark Webber has made no secret of his desire to win the Australian Grand Prix, but admits that no manner of sentimental coincidences is going to afford him that pleasure this weekend.
The Australian has never really come close to success on home soil over the years, with last year's fourth place his best yet, but heads into the 2013 season-opener with another shot in perhaps the best car in the field. The jury is out on the true potential of the latest Red Bull, but both Webber and team-mate Sebastian Vettel have shown that it can be a match for the likes of Ferrari and Red Bull during testing, and the local favourite is keen to finally break his run of bad luck as motorsport celebrates 60 years at Albert Park.
“We're all looking forward to finally getting racing,” he admitted, “There's a lot of testing that goes on in Spain, but now we can all get down to what we all enjoy doing most, and that's racing the cars.
“All the teams [and] drivers come here with a little bit more anxiety, just because it's the first grand prix of the year. Whether it's pit-stops or whatever department you're in, it's a fresh challenge for the new year, but it's the same for everyone. It's a great event and I'm looking forward to getting into the car.
With both Jack Brabham and Alan Jones having previously won versions of the Australian Grand Prix, Webber admits that it would be a career highlight if he could join them on the roll of honour, but concedes that no-one is going to make it easy for him.
“Any grand prix victory is special,” he noted, “and I'm lucky to have had that feeling a few times now. Monaco, the British Grand Prix, those are very prestigious races, but this is up there in the top three of events a driver wants to win - your home grand prix is very special.
“It would be a sensational feeling to be able to do it, but all the anniversaries and the nice fuzzy stuff is not really going to make it easier for me. I realise I've got to put together a clean weekend, pull it all together and make all of the right decisions. We're capable of it, but we're also mindful that it's a very tricky weekend to execute.”