Mark Webber has confirmed that his planned return to the Formula 1 cockpit for the beginning of February remains on-track, following his leg-breaking accident during a downhill mountain-biking stretch of his annual Pure Tasmania charity outdoor adventure challenge in November.
The Aussie broke the tibia and fibula in his right leg in a collision with a car close to the Tasmanian capital of Hobart eleven weeks ago, but he has now returned from his homeland to Europe to continue his rehabilitation.
Webber has set himself the goal of the third week of January to discard his crutches, and is already back in training, swimming 'a lot', doing light leg exercises with the help of a trampoline mat and working to strengthen his foot and ankle with elastic bands.
Ex-Red Bull Racing team-mate David Coulthard is adamant the effects of the accident will not hold the New South Wales native back in his pre-season preparations [see separate story – click here
], and Webber himself has mused that he was fortunate it was only his 'throttle' leg that was broken in the impact.
“I want to be testing at the beginning of February,” the 32-year-old told German magazine Auto Motor und Sport
. “I can't push it too much because the swelling will come back.
“It could have been much worse. I was lucky it was the right leg, which is not working too hard in the car. The most important thing is that I get the feeling back.”
Red Bull's new, Renault-powered RB5 is due to be launched at Jerez in southern Spain on 9 February.