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Webber: Lewis may find it tough this year.

Before the new Formula 1 season has even got underway, Mark Webber has cast doubt over Lewis Hamilton's chances of challenging for the crown in his sophomore campaign.

The McLaren ace sensationally led proceedings for the majority of the way during his rookie campaign in the top flight last year, only to miss out on the drivers' laurels at the very final hurdle, and Webber acknowledged that the young Briton had been 'a credit' to the sport for the way in which he revitalised fans' interest following the relative monotony of the Michael Schumacher years.

The plain-speaking Aussie did, however, warn that in such an unpredictable climate in which so many variables can influence performance, Hamilton's honeymoon period may not last all that long.

“After the Schumacher era we had a lot of fans who ran out of interest for watching F1,” the Red Bull Racing star underlined, “so a four-way fight for the championship last year was great for the sport. It's a fickle industry, though; Michael didn't challenge for the championship every year, nor has Fernando [Alonso] and nor has Kimi [Raikkonen]. Lewis won't either; it always goes round in circles.

“As in any sport it's a five-minute phenomenon; if McLaren have produced a shed this year no one will be interested. The way Lewis performed last year was a credit to both himself and the team, but it won't stay like that. There are peaks and troughs in any sportsman's career.”

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull RB3, Turkish F1, Istanbul Park, 24th-26th August, 2007
Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren MP4/22, Hungarian F1, Hungaroring, 3rd-5th, August, 2007
Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren MP4-23, F1 Testing, Jerez (ESP), January 16th 2008
Williams Martini Racing FW40
Antonio Giovinazzi - Sauber F1 Team
McLaren - Honda MCL32
Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren MCL32 F1 launch, [Credit: McLaren]
McLaren MCL32, McLaren-Honda, [Credit: McLaren]
Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H

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Timbo - Unregistered

January 23, 2008 11:11 AM

Marc , he wasn't having a go a Hamilton , he was just saying , quite correctly, that it can change with each year , if the McLaren is not as good as last years in comparison to some other cars he'll not be at the front as much. As far as i can tell that is fairly reasonable logic !

Reno - Unregistered

January 23, 2008 10:14 AM

Let''s take a short look at history from 1994. 1994/95 were the years in which Michael Schumacher won his first two championships in a Benetton; 96/97 were the years of Damon Hill and Jacques Villeneuve in the Williams; 98/99 were the years of Mika Hakkinen in the McLaren. Then followed the dominance of Michael in the Ferrari from 2000 to 2004, until the emergence of Fernando Alonso who broke Michael''s spell in 2005 and 06 in the Renault. In Michael''s five years, he was regarded as the bench mark for all teams and drivers. You beat Michael and you are on the right track both in driving ability and car performance. There is no bench mark driver at the present time. 2008 is wide open to all

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