Monday, 17 december 2018, 08:40 , by Matthew Scott
Lewis Hamilton has earned his reputation as Formula 1's finest qualifier, according to Mark Webber, who ranks the current world champion as better than the great Michael Schumacher over one lap. Hamilton surpassed Schumacher's pole position record last year and has 83 poles to his name.
Although Schumacher ended his career with 68 poles, the likes of Ayrton Senna and Jim Clark have traditionally been held up as the one-lap kings of F1.
Both Senna (40.1%) and Clark (45.2%) took pole in a far greater proportion of races than Schumacher (22.1%), while Hamilton's pole percentage of 36.2% compares favourably to those greats of the past.
And Webber believes the record is in good hands, rating Hamilton as a one-lap master.
"In qualifying – I've said it once, I'll say it again – he's the best since Senna. I mean he is better than Michael over one lap," Webber told Speedcafe.
"Arguably he is definitely the best in the last, getting on for 40 years.
"He's up there with Ayrton on one lap.
"Lewis doesn't go off the road much on Saturdays but he's had this devastating turn of speed when he needs to turn it on."
Since his most recent title win, talk has now turned to Hamilton's ranking among F1's all-time greats and Webber believes he is certainly the best of any modern-day rivals – including repeat champions Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso.
"I don't know what his real weaknesses are, that is why he is so dangerous," Webber said.
"He has definitely had the measure of Sebastian of late.
"We know he is as strong as Fernando, so he's been hard work for all of us over the years and that's why he's got the track record that he has."