No worries for Webber in putting pedal to the metal

Wed Feb 6, 2013 6:38am EST
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By Alan Baldwin

JEREZ, Spain (Reuters) - Australian Mark Webber has peace of mind when he puts his foot down now that he has had a 38cm long titanium rod removed from his leg.

The Red Bull Formula One driver made light of the surgery, which he had over the winter, after his first day in the cockpit at the Jerez test track but recognized that it was one less thing to worry about.

"I felt pretty comfortable pretty quickly," he told reporters.

"The leg's no problem at all. I'm probably a little bit behind on condition but not much. I'll be ready to go for Melbourne, I'm clearly on target so that's all fine. I felt better in the car than I probably thought I would, actually.

"At one point it was a little bit stiff but it's normal. It will be fine. When the adrenalin's going, it's zero problems," added the 36-year-old, who was in the car for lengthy stints on Tuesday when he covered 73 laps.

Webber broke his right leg after colliding with a car in a cycling accident in Tasmania in 2008 and has raced with the rod and screws inserted ever since.

He said it had not been a concern in the cockpit, with drivers protected in a carbon fiber 'tub' in the event of a crash, but was more of a worry in his regular routine away from the racetrack.

"It never affected me, mate, really when I was racing. It affected me when I was doing other sports, to be fair. Maybe water-skiing or mountain biking." he said.   Continued...