Mark Webber believes Lewis Hamilton is the greatest driver in qualifying since the late great Ayrton Senna and admits he cannot see any weaknesses in the five-time Formula 1 World Champion’s armour.
The best qualifier claims by Webber suggests Hamilton is better than the great Michel Schumacher, as well as the likes of Fernando Alonso, Kimi Raikkonen, Sebastian Vettel, Nigel Mansell, Alain Prost and Nelson Piquet.
Speaking to Speedcafe, Webber said, “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.com.
“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.”
Hamilton keeps on growing in stature, able to reach beyond his previous limits as he did that night in a memorable Singapore qualifying. The #44 Mercedes started from pole in 11 races and also won 11 this past season.
He qualifying has been his strength throughout his career, having notched up 83 top spot starts in 229 starts.
Webber raced against Hamilton, but cannot quite figure out how the Briton can be beaten, “I don’t know what his real weaknesses are, that is why he is so dangerous.”
“He has definitely had the measure of Sebastian (Vettel) 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.”
Although Hamilton insists records are not his thing, more could topple as he and his team continue to be the benchmark in the premier division of the sport, with no end in sight.
Wedder, continued, “He is one of the greats (and) he’s not finished yet, so he can be at the top of a lot of the statistics, which is incredibly, incredibly impressive feat.”
“He could go all the way, especially if he gets [his sixth] world championship next year. I think that’s going to be a big indication of whether he’s got the motivation to try and get past Michael, which obviously will be eight.”
“Have the next three years on the bounce, a lot of people probably would have switched off by then. To watch the record happen would be incredible but there is a lot, a lot of racing to be done,” concluded Webber.
As it stands, ahead of the 69th season of Formula 1, Schumacher heads with the big-daddy of them all, namely seven Formula 1 world titles to Hamilton’s five, the great German has 91 grand prix victories to his name with his successor at Mercedes on 73.
Schumacher has 155 podiums, to Hamilton’s 134 with the latter on 83 pole positions compared the former on 68.
Big Question: Is Lewis the best qualifier since Ayrton?