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Sand sculpture masterclass for Webber and Vettel 26 Mar 2009

Red Bull Racing drivers Mark Webber (L) and Sebastian Vettel (R) are seen with a sand sculpture of a Red Bull Racing car on St Kilda beach during previews to the Australian Formula One Grand Prix on March 26, 2009 in Melbourne, Australia. © Peter Fox/Getty Images Red Bull Racing drivers Sebastian Vettel with a sand sculpture of a Red Bull Racing car on St Kilda beach during previews to the Australian Formula One Grand Prix on March 26, 2009 in Melbourne, Australia. © Peter Fox/Getty Images

Red Bull drivers Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel made a detour to the beach as they journeyed to Melbourne’s Albert Park circuit on Thursday. Rather than taking a dip in the sea, however, Webber and Vettel took a stroll in St Kilda to check out a life-sized replica of the RB5, which had been sculpted from sand by local artist Steve Machell.

Machell, who refers to himself as ‘sandologist’, hails from the Australian city’s arty area, Byron Bay, and spent a mammoth eight hours working on the sculpture. But while it looked realistic enough, neither Webber nor Vettel were that keen to get their feet dirty and jump into the car’s cockpit.

“Somehow it is strange if you ask someone what he wants to become later on in life and get the answer 'Sandologist’,” said Vettel. “But the guy did a brilliant job. The car almost looks like our car - even in the details. The rear suspension looks just as the RB5. In only eight hours! I wish it would be possible to do the real thing in that time. It would take a lot of the headaches away!”

When asked by the attending media if the sand car reflected the reliability of the real RB5, Webber jokily stated: “Of course not! Or at least I hope not!”