Former F1 driver Mark Webber believes Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes will continue to rule the championship in the 2020 season, saying others face a huge ask in competing with them.
Mercedes have won six double championships in a row, which is a record, with Hamilton claiming five of those in the drivers’ championship. He could make history this campaign if he wins the title again as it would mean equalling the record held by Michael Schumacher, who won on seven occasions.
Ferrari and Red Bull have aspirations of competing for the championship, but Webber reckons they are a long way off simply due to Mercedes’ power, and of course, Lewis.
“I think Merc will be too tough for them to handle, operationally and with Lewis,” the former Red Bull driver predicted to the Sydney Morning Herald.
“The power unit is incredibly reliable with Mercedes, and Ferrari have shown signs of weakness in reliability phases.
“I would love to see Ferrari sitting on the front row. they were very good in qualifying last year, but there are no points in qualifying, you have to put the race together.
“That’s where Mercedes and strategy and Lewis [comes in]. It’s the whole thing. They just slowly strip you down.
“Nothing against Valtteri [Bottas], [but] Hamilton is one of the greats of the sport in the last 70 years. He is a headache for everyone. I don’t know who would be comfortable sitting beside him.
“He gave Fernando Alonso a bit of a touch up in Lewis’ first season alongside him in F1. Lewis is a ginormous, ginormous challenge for anyone. Valtteri is doing what he can, but Hamilton is a big problem for the opposition.
”He’s hungry and he’s still tenacious and he is reinventing himself, and that’s the extraordinary quality he has which is great to watch.”
Hamilton went through a period of five seasons without a title win a few years ago, and Webber credits his move to Mercedes and the tutelage he received from legendary driver Niki Lauda and team principal Toto Wolff as the spark which ignited his success.
“I think in the middle of his career a few people were worried that it might not be as long a career as could happen,” he continued.
“But then he got it really right back together, whether it was under guardianship of [former Mercedes’ non-executive chairman] Niki Lauda and [team principal] Toto Wolff, I would have imagined that had a big bearing on it.
“I know he’s enjoying a much better relationship with his father, which is great. He’s as stable as he’s ever been in his life Monday to Friday, and that’s a reflection then of how he performs.”
The Brit won the 2019 world championship with relative ease, earning 413 points compared to the 326 of his nearest rival, Valtteri Bottas.
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