Valencia: Australian Mark Webber launched his 2011 Formula One title challenge along with his new Red Bull car after putting the hurt of last season behind him.
Webber had been well positioned to take the title going into the final race in Abu Dhabi last November but ended up third overall with 23-year-old German team mate Sebastian Vettel becoming the youngest champion.
Along the way he had complained about Vettel being favoured, describing himself as a number two, and been involved in an embarrassing collision with his team mate in Turkey while they were running one-two and fighting for the lead.
"As a group we went through a huge amount last year and I believe that we will certainly learn from that," Webber told reporters at the Valencia circuit.
"I certainly did as well.”
"The way I am approaching this year is head-on again. I've got a great opportunity and a great team of people around me to focus and go out there and improve on what I did last year. There's a lot of things I did right last year, some very proud moments.”
"Head-on, mate. I'm going to do the best I can," he repeated. "I want to start the season better than I did last year as well."
Webber won four races last year, including the glamour showcase Monaco and Britain, and took five pole positions.
His contract with Red Bull runs out at the end of the year, meaning this could be his last real chance of becoming Australia's first champion since Alan Jones in 1980.
"The fact that I had my best season last year does make you hungrier," he said before Tuesday's launch.
"I just missed out in the end last year so if the package does come together again this year, and the chance of another run at the title is there, then we'll do everything in our power to take it."
First Published: Wednesday, February 02, 2011, 10:23