‘Never, ever underestimate those guys’: Mark Webber insists most of Lewis Hamilton’s struggles are through ‘no fault of his own’ and backs the Brit to bounce back after poor start
- Mark Webber has said much of the criticism aimed at Lewis Hamilton is unfair
- The Mercedes driver is under pressure after a poor start to the 2022 F1 season
- But Webber says he is never more dangerous than with his back against the wall
Lewis Hamilton is never more dangerous than with his back against the wall, claims Mark Webber, who believes much of the flak aimed at the Mercedes driver is unfair.
‘That’s why he’s probably the greatest of all time,’ the retired Australian driver said ahead of this weekend’s Miami Grand Prix.
Hamilton has already written off his chances of winning an eighth Formula One World Championship this season after a torrid start to the 2022 campaign.
Mark Webber (pictured above) has insisted much of the flak aimed at Lewis Hamilton is unfair
The Mercedes star has been criticised after a poor start for team and driver in the 2022 season
After only one podium finish in the first four races, he sits seventh in the standings – already 58 points off leader Charles Leclerc.
But Webber believes Hamilton is being too readily blamed for forces beyond his control.
‘I think people are being pretty harsh, pretty fast on Lewis. In Bahrain he drove brilliantly to third place. In Saudi there was a safety car involved there with a pit stop.
‘Same in Melbourne. So I think there have been quite a few points he’s missed through no fault of his own,’ Webber said.
‘It’s only Imola where he had a tricky qualifying and race. Of course, everyone’s forgetting how the other points were lost through no fault of his own.’ Webber, who spent 12 years in F1, warned fans not to write off Mercedes or Hamilton.
Speaking before Saturday’s Formula E race in Monaco, Webber added: ‘Never, ever underestimate an organisation like those guys. It’s going to be fascinating to see how the next few weeks go.
‘Lewis is at his most dangerous with his back against the wall. He’s never short of motivation – that’s why he’s probably the greatest of all time.’
But Webber said many of the problems Hamilton is suffering are through no fault of his own
But the 45-year-old praised Hamilton’s team-mate George Russell (right) for his strong start
The 45-year-old did, however, praise Hamilton’s team-mate George Russell for his impressive start at Mercedes.
‘George is driving brilliantly – very, very good for him – and it’s good to have the youngsters threatening the established drivers. That’s what it should be about – Lewis would never shy away from that.
Hamilton’s recent struggles have briefly starved fans of the brilliant rivalry he shared with Max Verstappen last year.
Webber, part of the Porsche team in Monaco, believes a similar toe-to-toe battle between two leading drivers would help take Formula E to the next level.
Ex-Red Bull star Webber (right) was speaking ahead of Saturday’s Formula E race in Monaco
‘There are always top drivers and top teams and this is naturally where the fans and people want to engage. To have their favourites. To start to get in a bit of relationship and bonding to that scenario.
‘So I think if we have a little bit more consistency, with a few guys that are constantly around each other and fighting for the top results, that will naturally cause at times maybe a bit more tension.
‘Maybe a bit more interesting dynamics – within the races of course – and that’s also great for the neutral at home, for the fans.’
He added: ‘We don’t want the repetitive factor of obviously the same winner all the time – that won’t happen in Formula E… but I think we were probably a little too far the other way in previous years.’
Catch-up on all the information as the series builds up to the 2022 London E-Prix, which returns this year on 30 & 31 July: