Webber aims to lead from the front in China

Mark Webber in his RB8
Mark Webber in his RB8

MARK Webber is aiming to match his brilliant performance of last season when he returns to China this weekend.

The Aston Clinton man had an amazing race in Shanghai last year, coming through the field from 18th to third.

But this time out he says instead of coming from the back, he hopes to lead from the front all the way around.

If he does that it will be his best finish of the new season after consecutive fourth-placed drives so far.

He said: “I enjoy racing at the Shanghai International Circuit because it’s got a really good flow to it, and the middle sector in particular.

“You can find a nice rhythm through there. It’s also got a long back straight, at the end of which is the best overtaking point on the lap.

“The DRS zone was a bit too generous last year, so I expect the FIA to tighten that up a bit this time around. Generally, though, this track provides a pretty good race.”

With his last grand prix hindered by poor tyre choice, Webber says it is essential to get rubber decisions right in China.

“Tyre wear is an issue because it’s very hard on the left-hand tyres.

“Degradation is high and that was proven last year when Sebastian Vettel was unable to hold off Lewis Hamilton in the closing laps.”

Sunday will be the ninth Chinese Grand Prix, an area of the world where F1’s popularity is growing each year.

Red Bull scored their first ever one-two at the Shanghai International Circuit in 2009. Webber finished second to Vettel.