Mark Webber has expressed his satisfaction with Red Bull Racing's form in the 2008 Formula 1 World Championship to-date, though he ruefully admitted that he would trade the 18 points he has notched up so far for team-mate David Coulthard's podium finish in the Canadian Grand Prix.

The straight-talking Aussie has taken the chequered flag inside the points in six of the opening eight races of the current campaign, leaving him sitting equal seventh in the standings behind the drivers from the sport's 'big three' teams, Ferrari, McLaren-Mercedes and BMW-Sauber.

The most encouraging aspect of all for Red Bull Racing is the fact that the squad seems at last to have turned a corner in terms of reliability this year, after Webber gained a reputation as arguably the unluckiest man in F1 with a whole string of failures to finish in 2007.

Though he insists he is 'saying nothing' on that front for fear of re-conjuring his bad luck jinx, and refusing to make predictions on the Milton Keynes based outfit's chances in the British Grand Prix in just over a week's time, the 31-year-old did acknowledge that things are finally looking up.

"The numbers look like they're helping us at the moment," he underlined, speaking exclusively to during the Silverstone test this week. "I think there's been a great effort over the winter to make sure the car is more reliable, and that's showing in our points finishes. It makes my job more rewarding, that's for sure."

Webber completed a marathon 94 laps on the first day at the Northants circuit - testament to RBR's improved reliability - and afterwards confessed that whilst he is undeniably pleased with his season so far, he would swap it all for the rostrum finish Coulthard achieved around the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve earlier this month, rating his own chances of replicating that feat over the balance of the campaign as 'difficult'.

"It's going to be tough to get a podium," he admitted. "Montreal was a very specific race, we know that, but I'd trade my 18 points for his six any day."

As to his home grand prix - over which debate is continuing to rage, with demands from F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone that it be held at night and circuit promoters repeatedly insisting that is not an option - Webber insisted that in his opinion there was no cause for concern.

"I think it will be fine," he stressed. "I think it will be at Melbourne and it should be okay. I don't think it will be a night race - I think they'll find a compromise. It will stay."

by Russell Atkins