Webber, who retired from F1 at the end of the 2013 season to pursue a new career in LMP1 sportscar competition – becoming World Endurance Champion last season -, was asked in an interview with Wheels Magazine whom he considered to be the strongest and weakest drivers on the grid.
Discussing the best, Webber highlights his former team-mate Vettel – with whom he had a famously fractious relation with –, current world champion Lewis Hamilton and two-time title winner Fernando Alonso as his picks. However, it is Vettel with his ‘notorious consistency’ and ability to ‘pull a whole team together’ whom Webber ranks highest of all.
“If you’re talking Formula One, the good boys always find themselves at the front and the good guys always find themselves in the best cars,” he said.
“Lewis has always been an incredibly fast, naturally gifted guy in all conditions and he’s very, very insensitive to tracks and to light rain and drizzle. It’s these sorts of things that makes the calibre of a very, very fast and phenomenal driver.
“Someone like Seb, he’s very good at the resources, at pulling the whole team together and getting everything around him and filling in his weaknesses. He’s exceptional on that front. Fernando, I wouldn’t say he’s running out of puff, but his motivation I think at the moment is challenged for sure.
“But those three are on a very, very, high level. If I had to pick one, I’d probably pick Sebastian, in terms of pulling the whole juggernaut together and getting the whole team going, which I think he will do at Ferrari shortly.
“He’s notoriously consistent and unfortunately I was on the receiving end of a lot of that, but he’s pretty handy. Lewis has a little bit more of that mind-management challenge, whereas Sebastian is true to form in the Germanic fashion of that delivery.”
When asked which driver he felt shouldn’t be in F1, Webber suggested Renault driver Maldonado – a race winner in F1 but renowned for his on-track scrapes – is ‘out of his depth
“Probably Maldonado. He’s out of his depth and just shouldn’t be there. He’s making up the numbers basically.”
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