Webber Hoping for Maiden Podium

Mark Webber is hoping to secure his first ever Formula One podium with Williams here in the Malaysian Grand Prix this weekend after equalling his best ever Grand Prix result at the last race in Australia

Webber Hoping for Maiden Podium

Webber, who joined the team from Jaguar last year, finished fifth in Melbourne for the first time since his debut in 2002 but he admitted he faces a tough challenge to stay with the favourites at Sepang.

"I'm expecting the normal suspects, Ferrari and Renault to be strong, but a podium would be fantastic," said Webber. "I've never finished the race. I love the track but I'd like to finish."

Webber has suffered two engine failures and a crash in his three outings at Sepang and he had been hoping to be fighting at the front this season after struggling in the past.

But his Williams team have not started as strongly as they had hoped and he is expecting the high temperatures and humidity to heighten the possibility of another race exit through engine failure.

"There's no place to hide here. In terms of managing the engine, that's the priority for us and we are working closely with BMW on that. There are a lot of unanswered questions this weekend but we'll give it everything we have.

"Tyres will also be a worry, with a whole set now required to last for qualifying and the full race distance, and Webber believes Malaysia will be a whole different ball game to the race in Australia.

"Michelin have done a very good job but we'll see this weekend how representative it is," he said. "Melbourne was a very cold race. This weekend will be very impressive for the tyres to do the whole race.

"If you run into tyre trouble early you are in for a horrible, horrible afternoon. We could always be better and I think Renault are leading the way there. It is going to be a very, very tough afternoon.

"But I don't think anyone's worried about saving tyres - you have to go flat out. And I don't think there's any engine manufacturer that can be totally comfortable here this weekend."

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