Webber hits reverse after ‘nanny state’ controversy

(GMM) Mark Webber has shifted into reverse gear after slamming F1 host state Victoria as a "bloody nanny state".

The Australian, irritated at local overregulation such as the prevalence of speeding and parking fines, made the comment in the wake of Lewis Hamilton's famous run-in with Melbourne police in March.

Then, when the formula one circus had moved on to Malaysia, Webber's father Alan and manager/partner Ann Neal posed with a group of fans wearing T-shirts bearing the words 'Victoria The Nanny State!'

One newspaper reader wrote at the time: "So this is the message from Mark Webber to the families who have lost loved ones on the roads this Easter. What a bloody disgrace."

Another added: "Don't come back Webbers. You are not welcome in my state."

The local Herald Sun newspaper said 33-year-old Webber's management has now written a letter to the government offering to have the Red Bull driver front a road safety campaign.

"It's something Mark is passionate about," Neal said. "It's not a knee-jerk reaction to the press he's had, it's something he has always done."

A government spokesman said Webber's offer was being considered.

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