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Webber's F1 team seeks fix for Sepang
Guy Hand
11:02 AEST Mon Mar 18 2013

After a difficult season opener in Melbourne, Mark Webber believes things can only get better at this weekend's Malaysian Grand Prix.

A horror start and sundry problems with his Red Bull car cruelled Webber's hopes of the podium finish he craves at his home Formula One event.

But he at least picked up valuable points to start the season.

And the Australian veteran is confident the issues which arose before and during his sixth place finish at Albert Park can be resolved in Sepang.

"As a team we weren't as strong as we thought we'd be," Webber admitted.

"But that's Formula One - it can change very quickly.

"We've got a very, very hot track this week in Sepang. So let's see how we go for the next few races. It's the first marker in the sand."

Webber had a sluggish start which saw him slip from second on the grid to seventh by the end of the opening lap in Melbourne.

His team also battled pre-race telemetry failures and tyre issues during the race, with the No.1 priority this week surely addressing how to get more out of the new Pirelli tyres being used in the sport this year.

Australian Grand Prix winner Kimi Raikkonen's Lotus team clearly have a handle on the new tyres, needing only two stops to Red Bull's three as they got far more life out of their Pirellis.

The other Australian in F1, Daniel Ricciardo, also believes his Toro Rosso team has work to do to understand the tyres.

His race ended after 42 of the 58 laps with a broken exhaust, but grip issues early in the race had virtually killed off his top 10 chances by the time he retired.

"At the start of the race, I struggled to find grip and it felt like I was driving on ice," he said.

"It took a very long time to warm up the tyres.

"I think we have more homework to do when it comes to the tyres.

"It wasn't the ending I wanted for the first grand prix of the season, especially at my home race."