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Webber takes time out for wildfire visit

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F1 Mole | 09:28 UK time, Thursday, 26 March 2009

Red Bull driver Mark Webber took time out of his preparations for Sunday's Australian Grand Prix to visit the scene of the Australian bushfires.

Last month, the fires swept across the state of Victoria, home of the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne, and claimed more than 200 lives.

Webber drove an hour-and-a-half out of Melbourne to view the scarred landscape surrounding the town of Kinglake.

"I wanted to come here and have a good look at what really want on," says Webber, who grew up on a farm in New South Wales.

"As a youngster I experienced bush fires. My father has fought them in the past but nowhere near this scale."

Mark Webber

Seven weeks after the fires broke out the rolling green hills remain split by charred tree trunks and the debris left by destroyed homes.

"You can still smell the burnt timber," says Webber. "The trees are just matchsticks now and the houses look like they've been bombed by aeroplanes.

"Its goes on for miles and miles. They say temperatures reached 2,000C. It really does look like the end of the world."

As well as raising awareness for the charity to help the victims of the wildfires, Webber has made a personal donation.

McLaren's world champion Lewis Hamilton also showed his support by visiting burns victims at the Alfred Hospital.

Former team boss, now BBC pundit Eddie Jordan, and his rock n' roll band The Robbers have released a single called "You Make Me Smile" through Universal records, the proceeds of which will also go towards the bush fire charity.

A feature showing Webber and the wildfires will be shown as part of BBC television's coverage this weekend.

Comments

  • 1. At 10:36am on 26 Mar 2009, mondo83xx wrote:

    Those fires where really terrible. Good to see the drivers showing some interest. Just to think some people started them fires, can you believe it??

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  • 2. At 11:30am on 26 Mar 2009, Stuart wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 3. At 11:53am on 26 Mar 2009, Stuart wrote:

    Simply tragic for Australia.
    I am glad to see the drivers (and good old Eddie Jordan) are using their high profile to do some good and bring this to the attention of viewers etc. Hopefully this will bring some more support to Australia and the victims of these fires

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  • 4. At 11:54am on 26 Mar 2009, Stuart wrote:

    Simply tragic for Australia.
    I am glad to see the drivers (and good old Eddie Jordan) are using their high profile to do some good and bring this to the attention of viewers etc. Hopefully this will bring some more support to Australia and the victims of these fires.

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  • 5. At 2:19pm on 26 Mar 2009, Jack_McGhee wrote:

    Awful, awful time for those that found themselves involved in those fires. Truly wish them all the best, for now, and for the future.

    Good to see people in F1 taking time out to spend time with the victims. No doubt Webber felt especially moved by the events.

    RIP to those who didn't make it.

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  • 6. At 07:42am on 28 Mar 2009, oxfordjonny wrote:

    Just watched the qualifying. Fantastic, what a fairytale! Oh, and Brawns' 1st and 2nd was good too! Well done to the great team at the BBC.

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  • 7. At 09:28am on 28 Mar 2009, Horus wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 8. At 12:08pm on 28 Mar 2009, Horus wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 9. At 9:45pm on 28 Mar 2009, captaindavepeet wrote:

    Great to have F1 back on the BBC, but PLEASE can we not have that dreadful crap pop noise overlaying the interviews and interesting articles. PLEASE - all you smart young guys who think this is cool - remember you will be hard of hearing one day and be complaining like I am today!!

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  • 10. At 00:32am on 29 Mar 2009, wo346atc wrote:

    to captaindavepeet, think you should buy yourself a hearing aid or invest in surround sound

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  • 11. At 00:44am on 29 Mar 2009, wo346atc wrote:

    after eagerly awaiting to see how the bbc would handle the transition i can honestly say bring on the rest of the season.the graphics are superbe, the team great {coulthard and jordan biting at each other already,at thats only the first programme}the music outstanding{couldnt be any other}and overall atmosphere enthralling and the race hasn't started yet.well done bbc keep it up for the rest of the year.im'not altogether convinced about jake yet we'll have to wait and see!!!!!

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  • 12. At 00:55am on 29 Mar 2009, wo346atc wrote:

    if jenson button starts to win a few races this year do you think he may be more approachable than he was at silverstone last year,he should take a leaf out of david coulthard's book and not take his fans so much for granted!

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