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Page last updated at 10:01 GMT, Thursday, 25 March 2010

Red Bull's Mark Webber says he has no plans to retire

Mark Webber
Webber is lining up for his ninth Australian Grand Prix

Red Bull's Mark Webber has dismissed rumours that he is ready to retire, insisting he is raring to go ahead of the Australian Grand Prix on Sunday.

McLaren's Lewis Hamilton suggested the Aussie may quit at the end of the season in order to bow out at the top.

But the 33-year-old, who won two grands prix last year, says he has no plans to call time on his Formula 1 career.

He said: "I'm very motivated, enjoying my job and looking forward to a great season. I've no intention of retiring."

Webber added: "It is Lewis' opinion and he is free to have that and I don't have a problem with that.

"I am very happy at the moment driving for who I am driving for. It is a very, very good situation at the moment and I am looking forward to it."

Webber became the first Australian since Alan Jones in 1981 to win a Grand Prix when he won at Nurburgring in Germany last July and he went on to record a second F1 victory at the Brazilian Grand Prix.

He finished fourth in the drivers' championship last season even though his winter preparations had been hampered by a cycling accident in a charity event in Tasmania that left him with a broken leg.


Webber said that incident left him mentally unready for the season and he believes he is more prepared for the upcoming campaign.

"It is a different ball game to last year," said Webber, who finished eighth in the opening race of the 2010 season in Bahrain.

"Mentally it is draining to have a winter like that. Now there are a lot less concerns for me, I already have a Grand Prix under my belt and while there are still a few little niggles here and there they are absolutely nothing compared to last year.

"I am in good shape, I feel good and I am ready to go for a whole season and obviously not just this weekend."

Red Bull Renault have the significant advantage of heading into the new season with continuity in their two drivers, Sebastian Vettel and Webber, and the backup team.

And their rivals concede that the Red Bulls are faster at this early stage of the season after their strong finish to the last, winning 2009's final three races in Japan, Brazil and Abu Dhabi.

Looking ahead to Sunday's Australian GP, Webber added: "It would be a beautiful feeling to win your home race, I don't think there's any driver who wouldn't like to have a chance to win their own Grand Prix.

"The car is performing very well and we have the best opportunity to have a crack at it, but you need everything perfect, everything executed right."

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see also
Mark Webber Q&A
19 Mar 10 |  Formula 1
Alonso triumphs as Vettel fades
14 Mar 10 |  Formula 1
Mark Webber profile
14 Mar 11 |  Drivers & Teams
Red Bull
14 Nov 10 |  Drivers & Teams
Red Bull in best shape - Webber
25 Feb 10 |  Formula 1
Red Bull in the hunt, says Webber
12 Feb 10 |  Formula 1
Webber breaks leg in bike crash
22 Nov 08 |  Formula 1

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