Webber: People ‘too harsh, too fast’ on Hamilton

Henry Valantine
Lewis Hamilton puts in his earpiece. Imola April 2022.

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton puts in his radio earpiece on the grid ahead of the race. Imola April 2022.

Mark Webber feels people are being prematurely “harsh” on Lewis Hamilton, after the seven-time World Champion’s tough start to the season.

The former Red Bull driver reasoned that Hamilton has lost out on points through unfortunate circumstances in Saudi Arabia and Australia in particular, with the timing of Safety Cars at both races seeing him lose places on both occasions and dropping points as a result.

He was stuck in a DRS train and found himself unable to get past Pierre Gasly at Imola last time out, with only a P13 finish to show for his efforts in bringing home his second-lowest finish in the turbo hybrid era.

Hamilton now sits on just 28 points after four rounds and five races, including sprint qualifying at Imola, and finds himself 21 behind new Mercedes team-mate George Russell, who fought his way to fourth place that weekend.

Webber came out in defence of the 37-year-old, and has backed him to bounce back in style once Mercedes can unlock more speed from the W13 – adding that Hamilton has traditionally driven at his strongest when times get tough.

Pierre Gasly ahead of Lewis Hamilton during the Emilia Romagna GP. Imola April 2022.
Pierre Gasly's AlphaTauri ahead of Lewis Hamilton's Mercedes during the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, both with DRS. Imola April 2022.

“I think people are being pretty harsh, pretty fast on Lewis,” Webber said at the Monaco ePrix at the weekend, quoted by the Daily Mail. “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.

“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.

“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.”


Webber has spoken of how impressed he has been by Russell during his short Mercedes tenure, following his promotion to the team after three years at Williams.

The Australian thinks it’s good to see the younger generation challenging the likes of Hamilton, and thinks the seven-time champion will be happy to go toe-to-toe against his team-mate this season.

“George is driving brilliantly – very, very good for him – and it’s good to have the youngsters threatening the established drivers,” the nine-time grand prix winner said. “That’s what it should be about – Lewis would never shy away from that.”