Red Bull 'optimistic' about RB5 pace

Mark Webber has said that his Red Bull Racing team is heading into this weekend's Australian Grand Prix in an 'optimistic' mood after some encouraging results from testing

Red Bull 'optimistic' about RB5 pace

The new RB5 set some promising times during its initial running and, although it did not repeat such headline-grabbing performances in more recent testing, Webber is bullish about the team's prospects.

"We are going in with a little bit of optimism actually," said Webber in Melbourne on Tuesday. "We are looking forward to seeing how all the times roll out after qualifying.

"With Barcelona and Jerez, we tested at only two tracks in Europe for the whole of winter testing and now we have come to a different venue, so we need to get our head around Albert Park very quickly, which is the same every year. But we are optimistic we will be somewhere up there."

He added: "It's been a different testing situation with the testing ban, so a lot of teams here are probably a little bit undercooked, but we are all in the same boat - so we are all looking forward to getting the season under way. It will be a good season ahead and I'm looking forward to it."

Webber concedes that rival Brawn GP is heading into Melbourne as favourites judging by its pre-season testing form, but behind those cars he thinks the field is very open.

"The Brawn cars look quite interesting. They started quite late but it looks like they have produced a very, very fast car... as they were doing times at Barcelona that nobody else could get near.

"I think you have got Toyota up there and you can never underestimate Ferrari. There are so many teams doing the same lap times with the exception of Brawn, so we will just have to see how it goes come this weekend. The only probable surprise is McLaren because of its lack of performance, but you can never underestimate McLaren."

Although Webber is walking with a limp as a legacy of November's leg-breaking cycling accident, he says there is no concern about his fitness for driving.

"Yeah I am pretty good," he said about his recovery. "I was being pretty aggressive in the last few months as I always wanted to be better one week than I was the week before.

"The people around me have been good at getting me to this stage. I am absolutely fine, and in the car is fantastic. I would like to be able to walk a bit faster, and walk a bit cleaner, as I have a little bit of a limp, but that will happen with time.

"It is still healing a little bit, but when I am in the car it is absolutely fine so there is no need to worry about that."

Red Bull Racing will not be starting the season with KERS, even though engine supplier Renault has given the go-ahead for its system to be used this weekend.

Webber said he did not expect his team to have its device ready to race until at least the start of the European season.

"We are not ready as a team," he explained. "It could be five or six races before we bring it on."

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