Hamilton not on Vettel and Alonso’s level – Webber

F1 Fanatic Round-up

Fernando Alonso, Sebastian Vettel, Lewis Hamilton, Montreal, 2012In the round-up: Mark Webber says Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso are the top two drivers in F1 today.

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Vettel ‘favourite’ for title despite new rules (BBC)

“Lewis [Hamilton of Mercedes] is handy but probably not quite as much of a machine as [Vettel and Alonso] are. They are literally ‘plug them in and off they go’. They are very, very handy.”

Brawn to take six months off (Reuters)

“I want to clear my mind, take a rest and then decide if I want to return to F1, subject of course to any opportunities existing.”

Judgement ‘reserved’ in Ecclestone trial (The Telegraph)

“After seven weeks of hearing evidence, Mr Justice Newey said he was reserving judgement. He is expected to take several weeks to consider the evidence. His judgement will hinge on whether he is persuaded that the shares were indeed undervalued as a result of Ecclestone?s actions.”

Newsnight (BBC iPlayer)

A segment on the Bernie Ecclestone trial in which a lawyer representing Gerhard Gribkowsky, the German businessman who was jailed for accepting an alleged bribe from Ecclestone, asserts it is an “open secret” that Ecclestone is in charge of the Bambino Trust which Gribkowsky was paid from, something Ecclestone has previously denied.

McLaren ready to protect Magnussen (Autosport)

McLaren managing director Jonathan Neale: “I hope we can protect him from the ravages of F1. For anybody coming up from another series to F1, the white heat of expectation is very difficult.”

Watch a real 2014 F1 chassis crash test (Caterham via YouTube)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QhTObVI2C8M

Alonso has his first taste of 2014 (Ferrari)

“The Spaniard arrived at the Scuderia?s headquarters this morning and immediately got down to work with a busy simulator programme. The purpose of the day was to get a first taste of all the new procedures in which the driver will be involved, in managing the 2014 car.”

Volkswagen not interested in F1 slot (ESPN)

“The Volkswagen Group boasts the likes of Audi, Lamborghini and Porsche among its brands, but when contacted by ESPN about whether the company was aware of the FIA’s search a spokesman dismissed any interest.”

Cheap tricks which point to fact that Formula One has lost its nerve (The Guardian)

Richard Williams: “To feel the need for a mechanism intended to ensure that every season reaches a cliff-hanging climax is to severely underrate the audience’s intelligence.”

Double points? Don’t be daft (ESPN)

Maurice Hamilton: “If it is a knee-jerk reaction to Red Bull’s dominance then it should be accepted that this sort of supremacy occurs in F1 from time to time. What, may I ask, was wrong with the last races in 2008 and 2010 – and plenty more before that?”

New double-points system-entertainment or embarrassment? (Motion Cars)

“It has led to howls of derision from many in the sport, who see this as the next step, after KERS and DRS wing ??push-to-pass? buttons, in devaluing the sport still further. It is not even guaranteed to add an entertainment factor.”

Tweets

Comment of the day

The news of Adrian Sutil joining Sauber for 2014 had a rather muted reception:

Sutil isn?t a bad choice. It?s fairly uninspiring but in terms of a decent driver with plenty of experience, he?ll do good enough job.

Who would be a better choice? They got him because the other options have gone! If they?d acted quicker, they could have potentially brought Perez back or Massa but now they?re left with Sutil or someone with next to no experience.
@Petebaldwin

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Dermot Farrelly and Carlo Grlj!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

John Surtees won the Rand Grand Prix 50 years ago today, which was a non-championship race held at the Kyalami circuit two weeks before the season finale at the East London track.

Surtees’ Ferrari team mate Lorenzo Bandini finished second ahead of local driver Piet de Klerk in an Alfa Romeo.

Image ?? Red Bull/Getty

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135 comments on Hamilton not on Vettel and Alonso’s level – Webber

  1. Girts (@girts) said on 14th December 2013, 7:15

    Well, Alonso is Webber’s friend and Vettel has beaten the Aussie for five consecutive years so he has his reasons to say that these two guys are the very best F1 drivers. But is he right? The yearly F1 Fanatic rankings suggest that Hamilton has fallen behind Alonso over the last years, which is of course an opinion that one can agree or disagree with:

    Hamilton: #1 (2007), #2 (2008), #3 (2009), #1 (2010), #5 (2011), #2 (2012)
    Alonso: #3 (2007), #3 (2008), #5 (2009), #2 (2010), #2 (2011), #1 (2012)

    I personally also think that Hamilton has been slightly less impressive than Alonso and Vettel over the last three years but it could change again in 2014. Give him the fastest car that is to his liking and doesn’t eat up the tyres too much and he might dominate the field as impressively as Vettel did in 2011 and 2013.

    • Sam (@) said on 14th December 2013, 10:36

      @girts

      But then again, give Hülkenberg, Bianchi or whoever you want a ‘fastest car that is to his liking and doesn’t eat up the tyres too much’ and he would win the WDC, no?

      • Girts (@girts) said on 14th December 2013, 11:08

        @ardenflo You make a good point but first he would have to beat the team mate and Rosberg is obviously on a different level to Gutierrez or Chilton. Secondly, there is a difference between winning the championship and dominating it. I think that only a combination of a great driver and a great car is able to dominate.

  2. AdrianMorse (@adrianmorse) said on 14th December 2013, 7:37

    I would rank Vettel above Hamilton, but I am not so sure about Alonso. Fernando has shown a lot of impressive things on a Sunday over the past couple of years, and in race conditions in the Pirelli age he’s probably a little bit better than Hamilton. But what if Lewis starts ahead of him in the same car (the Ferrari has been a bit kinder on its tyres than the Mercedes and the McLarens Hamilton has driven). I think it would be very close.

    There is certainly scope for Hamilton to improve. I think he still makes a few silly, ‘unforced’ errors every season (this year going off at Monza starting a lap in Q2 and driving into Bottas in Brazil, with the former proving especially costly) and in traffic he often seems to lack the confidence to make a brave move (probably as a result of his ’11 experiences), except on some days, such as Hungary this year.

    The question is, though, will he be able to improve? I don’t know, though I don’t agree with the opinion that it is Hamilton’s ‘distractions’ that keep him from achieving his potential. I’m no sports psychologist, but I don’t think all work and no play is the right attitude for everyone.

  3. I know the comparison here isn’t between Raikkonen and Hamilton, but I find it interesting. It seems that Hamilton is always getting criticised for the same sorts of things Raikkonen is praised for – if Raikkonen is drinking and snowmobiling in a gorilla suit, it just enhances his cool dude reputation, whereas if Hamilton hangs out with rappers and records music, he’s seen as a wannabe celebrity not focused enough on F1. I’ll be the first to say that we have seen Hamilton’s emotions seep into his professional life, especially in 2011, but isn’t that true, in a different way, of Raikkonen’s famous “motivation” problems too? Yes, he had back pain and a pretty good reason for being demotivated this year, but again, we saw him losing focus towards the end of the year (would he have finished the season if he’d been fighting for a title?) and people don’t seem to be jumping on his case the same way they do with Hamilton…

  4. Guy (@sudd) said on 14th December 2013, 8:18

    Plus the game has changed so much. Hamilton came up with a 100% attack style. From F3, GP2, and his early F1 years he was able to employ his explosive yet very technical style of driving. Its not like you can just mash the throttle and turn the wheel without technique. His style was so explosive it reignited interest in F1. Blistering cornering speed, extreme late braking to the point of lockup, yet some how carry the speed, unbelievable insight when it comes to the art of overtaking. That is what Hamilton was all about!!! And he was able to do that because the tires held up, and there was no DRS to help those drivers who were very quick drivers, but a little weak when it came to overtaking. The way I see it, drivers are like basketball, football, or baseball athletes. If you look at any top athlete, they have a great overall game but they have specialties. Some specialize in shooting, vertical game(dunking), defense, speed, strength, agility, etc. Even though Hamilton is still a top level driver, the changes in the sport hold him back. You might argue that great drivers have to adapt and that would be a fair point. But if you look at Hamilton in the Perilli era, all he’s been doing is adapting. With Mercedes? All hes been doing is adapting. And he’s done well, but its obvious that the current style of racing just does not suit him. Which leads most fans to take the easy route and simply conclude he is mentally weak. Saying Hamilton is naturally gifted and has only one lap pace is a bit insulting. It implies that he has not worked for it.

  5. And RedBull works a round about the adjusted testing rules they are bringing the Toro Rosso that shares probably 100% of the drivetrain to Bahrain, thank you FIA.

  6. I have to say that I do agree with Webber. When I think of the best drivers in Formula One at the moment I think of Alonso, Hamilton, Raikkonen and Vettel. But if I had to somewhat rank them, I would have Alonso and Vettel in the first tier and Hamilton and Raikkonen in the second. Alonso and Vettel to me are less prone to being off the pace during a race weekend, whereas with Hamilton and Raikkonen, we do see them struggling with their cars a bit more.

    I would like to see McLaren race with their orange livery, although my favourite was their West livery. The actual design of the car however is not as attractive, especially the front of it.

  7. Jason (@jason12) said on 14th December 2013, 11:52

    Hahahaha Webber, that’s why Lewis beat Alonso as a ROOKIE…. :D

    Guess the man is just trying to defend his consistant beating by Seb.

    • webber beat alonso when they were in joniur series. Things change you know, and some people make more progress than others. Hamilton’s 07 times are long gone now and he’s been left behind.

    • OmarR-Pepper (@omarr-pepper) said on 14th December 2013, 14:40

      @jason12 when people speak about 2007 Hamilton, it’s like speaking about the 80’s Tyson. I mean. we are in 2013, practically 2014. If Hamilton did that 6 years ago, fantastic. But nowadays I think the most gifted drivers (and who work to keep improving) are Vettel and Alonso. Hamilton works a lot… in Roscoe public image.

      • petebaldwin (@petebaldwin) said on 14th December 2013, 18:59

        @omarr-pepper – I don’t think that means that Alonso is a better driver than Hamilton though. It just means that he’s better at driving to the current regs. Hamilton is nowhere near Vettel in terms of tyre saving, driving to delta times and conserving fuel.

        If you gave all 4 of the top drivers the same car and asked them to drive to delta times with rapidly disintegrating tyres and DRS, Vettel would win.

        If you asked them all to go flat out with no overtaking button and tyres that would last double the length of the race, I think it would be very close but I can guarantee Hamilton would be in the top 2.

        • Rockie said on 15th December 2013, 13:45

          “If you asked them all to go flat out with no overtaking button and tyres that would last double the length of the race, I think it would be very close but I can guarantee Hamilton would be in the top 2.”

          What makes you say this/ Its like a crude joke can’t be anything but irritating!
          How would Hamilton do that, 08, 09 and 10 had bridgestone tyres and Hamilton only beat Vettel once in that period and that was when Vettel was in a TR, so i don’t get what you are saying?

    • Nickpkr251 said on 14th December 2013, 21:30

      Webber won the driver battle against hamilton in ham career and two yrs were in midfiled car so he knwos exactly what he is saying.

  8. scuderia_fan85 (@scuderia_fan85) said on 14th December 2013, 13:49

    ok that video of a caterham crash test is retarded. it didn’t show us anything.
    what does Webber really know and who cares..?? in a McLaren and Mercedes, I have seen Lewis outdrive both Fernando and Sebastian.

    • OmarR-Pepper (@omarr-pepper) said on 14th December 2013, 19:21

      @scuderia_fan85 outdrive Fernando and Sebastian?
      Mmmm. let’s see
      2008: Hamilton at Mercedes. Alonso in Renault. Vettel at Toro Rosso. OK, what you say it’s correct. (Even when in Brazil 2008, Vettel almost ruins the WDC to Hamilton when he overtook Ham in one of the last corners, then Timo… what a shame on Timo!)
      2013: Lewis outdriving Fernando and Sebastian? What championship are you talking about? Vettel was at the lead of the championship before and after the Pirelli tyre switch. And Alonso finished 2nd in the WDC, again. Hamilton has never raised his game after his championship year. It’s quite good one year, poor at the next, and so on. 2013 was quite good for him, so I guess it’s time for a poor year again. Chack his continuity if you don’t believe me.

  9. Steven (@steevkay) said on 14th December 2013, 14:55

    In the end, it’s sillly to compare these drivers… all are champions, and all are unstoppable when the circumstances are right. Alonso had strong wins this year in China and Spain (great to see him get the home win) and Hamilton’s performance at the Hungaroring was a display of why many became fans of Hamilton in the first place.

    Vettel just falls into those right circumstances more often; I have no doubt he plays a large part in making those circumstances right. I think Hamilton can find another WDC if he works at creating those circumstances for himself; the talent that he has should not result in only 1 WDC. As someone earlier in the thread mentioned, if you told me during the 2008 season that Hamilton would only win 1 WDC (and only by the skin of his teeth) in the next 5 years, I would’ve thought you’re crazy or possibly stupid.

    It’s these comparisons that make me wish a proper, top-tier spec series existed in which these drivers could properly race each other. I shall continue to dream.

  10. pking008 (@pking008) said on 14th December 2013, 15:40

    I always thought Webber was a straight forward type of guy but this assessment is being seen through tinted glasses i’m afraid and the reasons are simple:

    1. Webber was mauled by Vettel for as long as 4 years in a row so Webber was hardly going to rate anyone over Vetter just to make himself look better.

    2. Alonso is Webber’s best mate in F1 and the pretty much do everything togther. So he was lso hardly to bad mouth his best mate.

    Now I have few questions for Mr Webber.

    3. What is your explanation of Hamilton beating Alonso in the same car in 2007?

    4. Did you consider that aside from qualifying pace which the Ferrari lacks, the Ferrari has been a rocket-ship off the line (some suspect some king of launch mechanism) and the race pace is second to none in the field?

    5. Did you consider that the Merc was perhaps not as competitive as either the Ferrari not to talk of the Redbull?

    6. What do you say to the fact that Hamilton is the only top driver that has demanded and is not afraid to pit his skills against any top driver in F1 and unlike Vettel or Alonso has no interests in vetoing any driver? You might want to mention Kimi to Ferrari but that only occur because Alonso has fallen out of favour with Montezemollo.

    7. WHy has Hamilton successfully beaten all his team mates to dates which include, Alonso, Kovaleinen, Button and latterly Rosberg?

    So Mr Webber, take your tinted opinion with you when you’ve left F1. I like you but you are not being honest on this one. I’m sure being beaten 4 years in a row to the World championship is not something that is easy to swallow.

    • Jason (@jason12) said on 14th December 2013, 17:21

      @pking008
      Well said mate, and hopefully Lewis/Vettel pairing will happen soon enough.

      And without any shadow of a doubt Lewis will emerge victorious, esp since crappy tyres are now a thing of the past.

    • Robbie said on 14th December 2013, 17:36

      Hmmm…I doubt MW has much reason to lie, since he’s been known as one of the more straight shooters. Are you sure you aren’t just a ‘tinted’ LH fan?

      1. Most people would agree SV, as WDC 4 years straight, is in top form and a notch above most on the grid.

      2. They may be mates, but most would agree FA is also a notch above many…last year even though SV won the WDC it was FA that got driver of the year in a poll on this site.

      3. What is your explanation for LH throwing away at least one WDC that was his to lose? Or why he let off-track distractions cost him and the team in 2011?

      4. It’s neither here nor there that the Ferrari was a rocket ship off the line….the Merc was no slouch in quali, and NR won a race, and this is about MW’s opinion of LH likely accumulated from observations over his career, not just last year.

      5. Same answer as above….MW’s opinion of LH is not likely just based on last year, and even if it was, LH was in the second place car in the WCC and was ahead of Ferrari.

      6. Can’t say I’ve heard of LH demanding top drivers as teammates…got quotes? And RBR almost signed KR.

      7. MW is not saying LH isn’t good….just not quite at SV and LH’s level. You’ll note that LH is in MW’s top 3.

      And I’ll just add that nobody is saying LH doesn’t have the potential to put himself up into what MW considers that uppermost level. As you say, it is just his opinion, and I think if you told him to his face he was wrong he would just laugh and confirm that it is just his opinion, and it doesn’t really matter either way including whether or not he is still in F1.

    • @pking008
      Maybe you should look at what he says: That with Alonso and Vettel you can “plug them in and off they go”. “Machines” in his words.
      If you look at Vettel and Alonso the past few years, they are ALWAYS in contention. When the car isn’t there, they get the most out of it. When the car is there, there is no stopping them.
      Hamilton works, really, really well, when he does. But sometimes, even when the car works, he doesn’t. For whatever reason.
      And with his problems in 2011 etc. He seems a bit more like work in progress if you will.
      He is really good, no denying that, but he isn’t quite as relentless and consistent as either Vettel or Alonso. I don’t think so, anyway.

    • OmarR-Pepper (@omarr-pepper) said on 14th December 2013, 19:30

      @pking008 1 and 2. Vettel and Alonso are year after year 1st and 2nd in the WDC. Hamilton is 4th or 5th year after year. His 3rd place this time was a gift from Kimi when he left the final 2 races.
      3. Again. Hamilton 2007 is glorious history. Just history now.
      4 and 5. So Mercedes many poles don’t enter into your consideration? Mmmm.
      6. Rosberg is still, in my opinion, not a top driver. Even Grosjean looked stronger than him this year. He beat “Schumacher’s awful twin brother” as I heard some team director say.
      7. Button beat Hamilton. Cold numbers.

      • Yes button beat lewis in 2011,but not in 2010 and 2012, in 2012 it wasn’t even close. Lewis and alonso were the best 2 drivers. In 2013 lewis went to a new team, so he had alot to learn, plus in many races the car wasnt a good race car.
        Oh and didnt lewis beat alonso once?

    • Guy (@sudd) said on 14th December 2013, 22:10

      Well said. Those are facts that cannot be argued.

  11. AlokIn (@) said on 14th December 2013, 15:48

    Mark has lost his sense just like Marko. More talk less action. Leave title this guy failed learn to do a proper start to the race even after staying a decade in the F1

  12. zoom (@zoomracing) said on 14th December 2013, 16:02

    I agree with Webber about Hamilton. Hamilton has the raw talent to be as good or even better than Vettel and Alonso, but his head is not a the same level of those drivers, and the head is one of the most important thing in any sport.

    • Agree absolutely. We all know all these drivers are bloody good and fast. It comes down to how they handle pressure when it is at it’s greatest, and from that aspect I give the nod to FA.

  13. Neil (@neilosjames) said on 14th December 2013, 17:29

    On raw talent I’d go Hamilton, Alonso, Vettel.

    On head strength I’d go Alonso, Vettel, Hamilton.

    All three show emotions, but while Alonso seems to switch his off when he gets in the car, Hamilton takes his with him in a little invisible sidecar. With Vettel somewhere in the middle.

    Taking emotions onto the track isn’t always a bad thing (can be good), but in ‘modern F1′ it seems a less desirable trait than in the past.

    • Rockie said on 15th December 2013, 13:57

      To start with there is no such thing as raw talent, Also mental strength nobody comes close to Vettel in that field people can talk about Alonso as much as they like but he does not have what it takes to close out a championship.
      But Vettel on the other hand does what is needed if you don’t believe here are the cold hard facts,
      2010 needs to win the race to have a chance, He wins the race the number adds up!
      2011 no contest
      2012 need to finish 6th or higher if alonso is on the podium, he ends up 6th even after being spun around on the 1st lap Alonso should have won that race but needed Massa to let him thru after running wide 2x at turn 1.

  14. Lewis has beat 2 world champion teammates, how many have vettel and alonso beat?
    Also alonso especially seems to need number 1 status to perform to his best level.
    for me lewis had proven himself many many times, and yet some ppl still doubt him.
    He was great in 2012,and although he was below par this season, he still beat nico over the season, despite having alot more to deal with.
    He has only had 1 bad season, 2011.other than that, he has come out on top every season.
    Alonso last won a championship in 2006,so his dry spell has lasted longer than lewis’s.
    And vettel, well he’s a top driver, but his domination could have been replicated by button in 09 if that brawn had of been able to stay the class of the field.

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