Mark Webber for Ferrari: Any regrets about Lewis Hamilton?  / System 1

Mark Webber for Ferrari: Any regrets about Lewis Hamilton? / System 1

More than ten years ago, Australian Mark Webber almost became a Ferrari driver. Now the nine-time GP winner is questioning Ferrari’s decision to bring Lewis Hamilton to Carlos Sainz.

Mark Webber hangs up his helmet at the World Endurance Championship final on November 19, 2016 in Bahrain. The Australian is at peace with himself and the racing world – he has won nine Grands Prix and became the world endurance champion with Porsche in 2015.

He has remained associated with the Stuttgart company as a brand representative, and as a three-time World Cup bronze medalist (2010, 2011 and 2013) with Red Bull Racing, he has made many friends in the racing team from Milton Keynes and in the competition. . parent company in Austria.

Mark Webber told me at the end of his GP career in the paddock in Abu Dhabi: “I was able to experience a lot of things that most racing drivers can’t. I don’t regret anything because I’ve always worked to the best of my ability. In fact, the only thing I regret is a mistake my driving in South Korea in 2010, which probably cost me the title.”

But wait, maybe nothing else?

The 17 drivers on the current Formula 1 grid will readily admit that Ferrari’s place is something very special and that they at least secretly dream of becoming Ferrari factory drivers (the other three are current drivers Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz along with Driver of 2025 Lewis Hamilton).

Mark Webber has been linked with a place at Ferrari a few times. What? How did he approach this dream?

“Very close,” Webber replied. “So close that I had to pick up the phone and call Red Bull boss Dietrich Mateschitz. Didi was always good to me, I didn’t think it was more than fair to put him in the loop. But then we couldn’t get an agreement with Ferrari. I had given myself a deadline that I wanted to know what was next. On the Thursday before the 2012 Canadian GP I made a decision – I’m staying with Red Bull Racing.”

Fast forward to now: at the beginning of 2024 it was announced that Lewis Hamilton will be a Ferrari driver from January 1, 2025.

What’s happened since then: Carlos Sainz with a surplus is having a great season, culminating in victory in Australia, while Lewis Hamilton has his first worst season in 18 years in the premier class.

Now 47-year-old Mark Webber, who draws on his experience from 215 Grands Prix to judge Formula 1 events for his British colleagues at Channel 4, says of Sainz: “Clearly Carlos is driving with a knife between his teeth, and he does it. better.”

Then the third winner of the World Cup in 2010, 2011 and 2013 said: “I really wonder if Ferrari does not regret this step a little.”

Japan-GP, Suzuka Circuit

01. Max Verstappen (NL), Red Bull Racing, 1:54:23,566 h
02. Sergio Pérez (MEX), Red Bull Racing, +12.535 seconds
03. Carlos Sainz (E), Ferrari, +20,866
04. Charles Leclerc (MC), Ferrari, +26,522
05. Lando Norris (GB), McLaren, +29.700
06. Fernando Alonso (E), Aston Martin, +44,272
07. George Russell (GB), Mercedes, +45,951
08. Oscar Piastri (AUS), McLaren, +47.525
09. Lewis Hamilton (GB), Mercedes, +48,626
10. Yuki Tsunoda (J), Racing Bulls, +1 Round
11. Nico Hülkenberg (D), Haas, +1 lap
12. Lance Stroll (CDN), Aston Martin, +1 Round
13. Kevin Magnussen (DK), Haas, +1 Lap
14. Valtteri Bottas (FIN), clean, +1 lap
15. Esteban Ocon (F), Alpine, +1 Round
16. Pierre Gasly (F), Alpine, +1 Round
17. Logan Sargeant (USA), Williams, +1 Round
Guanyu Zhou (RCH), Sauber, Elektrik
Alex Albon (T), Williams, Crash
Daniel Ricciardo (AUS), Racing Bull, Crash

World Championship Standings (after 4 out of 24 Grands Prix)

the driver
01. Verstappen 77 points
02. Perez 64
03. Leclerc 59
04. Sainz 55
05. Norris 37
06. Plate 32
07. Russell 24
08. Alonso 24
09. Hamilton 10
10. Walk 7
11. Tsunoda 7
12. Oliver Bearman (GB) 6
13. Hulkenberg 3
14. Magnussen 1
15. Alboni 0
16. Zhou 0
17. Ricciardo 0
18. Okon 0
19. 0 gas
20. Bota 0
21. Sergeant 0

Builders Cup
01. Red Bull Racing 141 Punkte
02. Ferrari 120
03. McLaren 69
04. Mercedes 34
05. Aston Martin 33
06. Running Bull 7
07. Especially 4
08. Williams 0
09. Sauber 0
10. Alpine 0