Valencia, Feb 02(Agencies): The "Spirit of Australia", Qantas, has announced Formula One driver Mark Webber as its latest ambassador.

In March last year the Red Bull team driver slammed the "nanny-state country that we have down here in Australia", in the wake of fellow racer Lewis Hamilton being pulled over for smoking the tyres on a sponsor's Mercedes-Benz outside the Albert Park circuit in Victoria.

"I think we've got to read an instruction book when we get out of bed — what we can do and what we can't do . . . put a yellow vest on and all that sort of stuff," Webber said at the time.

Advertisement: Story continues below But time, it seems, heals all wounds.

“As a sportsperson, I love representing my country on the world stage and being a Qantas Ambassador means I can represent Qantas wherever I am in the world,” Mr Webber said.

“I am very fortunate to be racing in front of my home crowd again and the driver parade lap is when it really hits home that all the Aussie fans are there cheering you on.”

Qantas Chief Executive Officer, Mr Alan Joyce, said Qantas was proud to support Webber.

“Mark Webber is an Australian sporting champion and we look forward to working with and supporting Mark, not only in Australia, but throughout his Grand Prix season globally,” Mr Joyce said.

“Qantas has supported the Australian Formula One Grand Prix since its inception 25 years ago and our new relationship with Mark Webber as a Qantas Ambassador is a fitting addition to this partnership, he said.”