Sepang: Red Bull's Mark Webber is ready to put a sub-standard opening to his season behind him at the Malaysian Grand Prix on Sunday, promising a far more competitive showing at Sepang.
The 34-year-old Australian struggled for pace at his home grand prix in Melbourne a fortnight ago and could only finish in fifth place, more than 38 seconds behind teammate and race winner Sebastian Vettel.
Looking forward to the second race of the new campaign, Webber is happy with the progress mechanics have made to his RB7 since Melbourne but believes it is vital for his team to use the KERS speed boost system for the Malaysia race.
"There were a few issues we found post-race which certainly did not help the situation," Webber told reporters on Thursday.
"We will do a better job this weekend, get more out of the car and hang out at the front like we normally have been. I am not going to make a meal of what happened in Melbourne, so let's talk about Malaysia."
Red Bull did not run the KERS system in Melbourne due to reliability issues and will make a decision whether to employ it in Malaysia after Friday's practice.
Webber realises another race without the power boost could leave him and Vettel vulnerable to attacks along the long straights at Sepang, despite the car's superiority on the circuit's tight corners.
"We need to run tomorrow and see," he said. "We haven't tested it since Melbourne. It is the first time it has gone back on the car, so it will give us some more confidence here tomorrow.
"It's a no-brainer (to use it). You need to get KERS working reliably and, well, it is something you should have on the car."
Vettel won in Malaysia a year ago but with the fickle local weather and extreme track temperatures likely to test the durability of the new Pirelli tyres to the limit, Webber admits the race is something of a step into the unknown.
"We did well here last year, the car just won the last grand prix so we will see," he added. "It is pretty brutal on the track temperature; it will be interesting on the tyres. No one knows how that will unfold."