Mark Webber insists that he does not expect his leg-breaking accident to have any effect his racing career, having left hospital to begin his recovery process at home.
The Red Bull Racing driver, who has denied claims that the accident has led to conflict with his employer and sponsor, broke both bones in his lower right leg after being involved in a collision with a car on an unsealed public road near Fortescue Bay while taking part in his eponymous 'adventure race' in Tasmania last weekend. However, despite initial reports listing him in a 'serious' condition, the Australian has left the Hobart hospital where he received emergency surgery - and a titanium rod - confident that he will be back at his best by the time the 2009 season starts, on home soil, in March.
"Once my rehabilitation is complete, there will be no effect on my driving," Webber told Tasmania's Mercury
newspaper before returning to the family home in Queanbeyan, New South Wales, for Christmas.
"It doesn't affect my career much at all in the medium term. I've driven more than 100 grands prix and know exactly what's required to compete at that level. Going in to my eighth season, I'm looking forward to fighting for world championship points from the word go."
Despite the 'adventure' aspect of the Mark Webber Pure Tasmania Challenge appearing to contravene the sort of clause many an F1 driver finds in his contract, Webber insists that he has not been criticised by either RBR or manager Flavio Briatore for taking part in the event for a fourth time.
"I've been in touch with many people in my team, including team principal Christian Horner, [and] they've been really supportive and have also had major input into the rehabilitation programme," the 32-year old said, "[And] Flavio is a terrific manager [who] I've worked with for almost nine years, and he is totally supportive of everything I do in terms of my Formula One preparation and racing."
While Webber's career may be safe, the same cannot be said of the Challenge, which the driver admits may have to be reviewed for future seasons - although not necessarily in light of his accident..
"The 2008 Mark Webber Pure Tasmania Challenge was a great success, competitors and event sponsors really enjoyed the event and images promoting Tasmania have gone all over the world," Webber said, "It also looks like we've raised a tidy amount of funds for our charities. The next step is for us to do our usual review of the event prior to any announcements about the future.
"Unless you're close to this event, you tend not to realise the scale of it, so we only commit to the next one when we know we're going to deliver an event of international quality, like we did this year."