Mark Webber suspects BMW-Sauber could be set for a competitive season.

Mark Webber suspects BMW-Sauber could be set for a competitive season.

The Red Bull driver, who has returned to light training after breaking his leg, thinks the Hinwil based squad's strategy in preparation for 2009 is a positive sign for them with 72 days to go until Melbourne.

"They have put a lot of energy into getting on to the start line earlier than some people. That has got to benefit them and we could end up looking back and saying that was a smart decision," Webber wrote in his BBC column.

In contrast, he points out that Red Bull is to be "the last of the major teams" to get a 2009 car running, at the beginning of February.

"That probably helps me in the sense that I will be in better shape by the time we run it for the first time but it might not be the best solution overall," the Australian said.

Webber continued: "Come the third or fourth race would we have preferred to have that extra 600-800km on the car? Some would argue yes."

He insists, however, that designer Adrian Newey's decision to spend more time with the car in the factory might not be such a penalty.

"There is a lot of stuff you can do now to make sure the cars are reliable -- and we had very good mechanical reliability last year," the 32-year-old noted.

"If we can keep that sort of reliability up with this car, then Adrian Newey's decision to delay the launch to give him more development time to get a bit more performance out of the car could be a good one."