Webber hopes to break Melbourne curse

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The 2013 Australian Grand Prix will be Mark Webber’s twelfth visit to his home race, but the Red Bull driver is yet to meet considerable success in Melbourne. On debut in 2002, he scored an unlikely fifth place with backmarkers Minardi; a result Webber failed to better until last year’s race (P4). In 2013, Webber hopes to stand on the podium in front of his home fans for the first time.

“I’ve been on the podiums at most tracks around the world and have won at quite a few circuits and Melbourne is one which I would like to add to that.

“I really enjoy driving at the track, the atmosphere is fantastic. In general the people of Australia love the Grand Prix and are excited to have a world class event there.”

Webber also spoke of his pride for his home event.

“I’m proud when we go there with F1 as an industry and that we put on such a great event. Of course I want to go there and perform well, so I’ll be focusing on myself to get the job done. The champagne will taste a little bit better in Melbourne if I get on the podium there.”

At 36, Webber is the oldest driver on the grid, and with just one year remaining on his Red Bull contract, 2013 could be a make-or-break season. He is yet to prove that he can match and beat illustrious teammate Sebastian Vettel, but if there ever was a time to do so, Webber’s home race would be the perfect backdrop.

NEOM McLaren Formula E announces Jake Hughes will join Rene Rast for 2023 season

McLaren Formula E Hughes
McLaren Racing
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Doubling down on their commitment to electric auto sports, McLaren Racing announced Jake Hughes will join Rene Rast to compete in the 2023 Formula E Series (FE), which completes their driver lineup.

The NEOM McLaren FE team was formed by the acquisition of the Mercedes-EQ Formula E team that won the 2021 and 2022 championships with Stoffel Vandoorne and Nyck de Vries behind the wheel.

“Today’s announcement feels like a long time coming,” said Ian James, managing director of NEOM McLaren Electric Racing in a release. “Since May this year, when we first announced McLaren Racing’s entry into Formula E, we have been working tirelessly to get in place the best possible team and structure for sustainable success.

“On the one hand, we have been working on the retention of the amazing talent that already was in place before going into the transitional phase. I’m proud to say I think we’ve done a great job on that front.

“On the other hand, we have been focusing on putting in place new processes and new talent – and the latter includes the drivers.”

The driver lineup clasps the two hands together.

Hughes brings 10 years racing experience in single seater cars, including a role with the acquired Mercedes-EQ team as a reserve and development driver for the past two seasons. He is the 2013 BRDC Formula 4 champion and has multiple wins in Formula 2, including two in 2020.

Announced in August, Rast joins the team after earning two podium finishes and six top-fives in 22 career Formula E starts for Audi Sport ABT before returning to the DTM Series last year. Rast’s best finish in Formula E came in the Puebla E Prix when he finished second to teammate Lucas di Grassi by less than a half second.

McLaren’s commitment to Formula E comes one year after they entered the Extreme E rally series in 2022 with Tanner Foust and Emma Gilmour in the driver lineup. After a modest start to the season, the McLaren XE drivers crossed the finish line first in Round 4 in Chile, but were assessed a time penalty that dropped them to fifth. Last week in the season finale in Uruguay, they held onto a hard-earned second place finish.