Mark Webber has said a “ginormous, ginormous” challenge awaits anyone who wants to try and topple Lewis Hamilton this upcoming Formula 1 season.
Hamilton is bidding to join Michael Schumacher as a seven-time Formula 1 World Champion and is strong favourite to do so in 2020.
Valtteri Bottas, Charles Leclerc, Max Verstappen and Sebastian Vettel are the main contenders who will be trying to stop him, but Webber thinks the Hamilton/Mercedes dynamic is still too strong.
“I think Merc will be too tough for them to handle, operationally and with Lewis,” Webber told the Sydney Morning Herald.
“The power unit is incredibly reliable with Mercedes, and Ferrari have shown signs of weakness in reliability phases.
“I would love to see Ferrari sitting on the front row. they were very good in qualifying last year, but there are no points in qualifying, you have to put the race together.
“That’s where Mercedes and strategy and Lewis [comes in]. It’s the whole thing. They just slowly strip you down.
“Nothing against Valtteri, [but] Hamilton is one of the greats of the sport in the last 70 years. He is a headache for everyone. I don’t know who would be comfortable sitting beside him.
“He gave Fernando Alonso a bit of a touch up in Lewis’ first season alongside him in F1. Lewis is a ginormous, ginormous challenge for anyone. Valtteri is doing what he can, but Hamilton is a big problem for the opposition.
”He’s hungry and he’s still tenacious and he is reinventing himself, and that’s the extraordinary quality he has which is great to watch.
“I think in the middle of his career a few people were worried that it might not be as long a career as could happen.
“But then he got it really right back together, whether it was under guardianship of [former Mercedes’ non-executive chairman] Niki Lauda and [team principal] Toto Wolff, I would have imagined that had a big bearing on it.