Webber will take on Malaysian Grand Prix with a ‘heavy heart’ this weekend

Mark Webber
Mark Webber

ASTON Clinton F1 star Mark Webber, who was seventh fastest in practice ahead of qualifying for this Sunday’s Malaysian Grand Prix, says he will go into the race with a heavy heart after the death of Marco Simoncelli at the Sepang circuit last year.

Aussie Webber drove his red bull around the circuit in a time of 1:39.133 while leader Lewis Hamilton set the pace with 1:38.172 for McLaren.

Speaking ahead of Sunday’s grand prix – the second of the new season – Webber said he would be paying his respects to tragic Simoncelli.

“I’ll go to Sepang with a heavy heart because it’s where Marco [Simoncelli] lost his life last year.

“He was one of the stars of two wheels. Before the race weekend gets underway, I’ll go to the part of the track where he crashed and pay my respects.

“The circuit is a real test for the drivers because it’s a very hot grand prix. With Melbourne the weekend before, there isn’t the opportunity to arrive a long time in advance to acclimatise, so I’ll get to Malaysia as late as possible.

“That’s what I’ve done in recent years and it’s worked well.

“The track is very wide and there are several heavy braking areas, so overtaking is possible. Aerodynamically, the circuit is a good test for the cars because there are several high-speed corners and some fast changes of direction. You can’t carry the car through these; you need it to be well balanced.

“Bernie loves a late start and, once again, the race has a late kick-off. Late afternoon is usually when the rain comes in Malaysia, and when it comes you know about it!

“It’s something to be wary of.”

We’ll bring you news of how Webber fares in qualifying and in Sunday’s race right here in Herald sport.