Webber Wants First Finish at Sepang

Australian Mark Webber has failed to finish the Malaysian Grand Prix in three previous visits so his aim of getting among the points in this weekend's race is not as modest as it seems

Webber Wants First Finish at Sepang

He matched his best Formula One showing with fifth place for Williams at the season-opening race in Melbourne and will be under pressure to improve on that in steamy Sepang.

"I've never finished this race so I want to get a result," Webber told reporters on Thursday. "A podium would be fantastic. We'll give it everything. To finish in the points here would be very good for me."

Webber acknowledged that the sweltering heat in Malaysia would be a severe test with new regulations requiring teams to use the same engine for two successive races.

"Managing the engine is the priority for us," he said. "It's a vicious cocktail here for the drivers because you have the adrenalin, the concentration, the heat in the car."

Tyre care could also be a major factor in Sunday's race as drivers must now qualify and complete the race on the same set of tyres.

"Melbourne was a very cold race but if you run into tyre troubles early in Sepang, you are in for a horrible, horrible afternoon," said Webber. "This is a very, very good track. It's incredibly demanding on the car, aerodynamically, traction, brakes and engine power. You need absolutely everything here. There's no place to hide."

Sombre Analysis

Webber's result in Melbourne prompted sombre analysis in contrast to the champagne-soaked celebrations of his fifth place for Minardi three years ago.

"It's easy to look with the hindsight goggles and say we should have done a better job," said Webber, whose teammate Nick Heidfeld failed to finish in Melbourne. "It's always easy to get greedy and want more. It was a reasonable start."

Webber conceded that Williams were still playing catch-up with resurgent Renault, whose drivers Giancarlo Fisichella and Fernando Alonso finished first and third respectively in Melbourne.

"We know Renault are the pace," said Webber. "We're not kidding ourselves that we're going to catch them in two minutes. It will take time. But we want to try and close that gap."

Webber insisted he is a better driver this year than he was last season when he finished 13th in the Drivers' Championship for Jaguar.

"I used to probably overcook the steak a little bit," he joked about his aggressive style of driving. "I'm older and wiser now."

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