Formula 1

Lotus bigger threat than Mercedes, says Webber

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Webber set to leave at the end of the season. (©GettyImages)
Webber set to leave at the end of the season. (©GettyImages).

Red Bull's Mark Webber feels that Lotus are a bigger threat to Red Bull's Championship conquest, even though Mercedes currently sit second behind them.

While Mercedes had struggled to keep its tyres intact in the early part of the season, they have made progress over the last few races, with Nico Rosberg winning at Silverstone and Lewis Hamilton victorious in Hungary. 

But the Aussie thinks Lotus with their consistency are the bigger threat. Talking about Mercedes' season, Webber said: "I think we had Mercedes covered at the Nurburgring,"

"Budapest; Lewis is very special at Budapest, there's no driver that can really touch him there in my opinion. Whereas at some other tracks he's not that strong, but in Budapest he's very, very strong.

"He proved that in a s**tbox McLaren as well, so when he won in the McLaren he was very, very strong. He's been quick there and he proved that again in the Merc; it was a good win for him."

Of course, this could all be mind games for the Red Bull team trying to outdo their nearest rivals. Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg have been the only drivers to catch up with the Red Bulls in the pace department.

Red Bull lead the Constructors' Championship, with a healthy 69 points advantage over second place Mercedes; with Ferrari and Lotus behind them. Lotus, though, have been on the tide up, with two strong second place finishes in Hungary and Germany.  

Talking about the three teams behind them, Webber feels that Lotus have the advantage over Ferrari and Mercedes, with their consistency and gradual improvement. 

"Ferrari, Lotus - compared to Mercedes - I think the Lotus is the most stable car across all tracks," he added.

"Obviously they've been very, very good but just lost a little bit here and there. They've been very strong and a real threat throughout and Ferrari and Mercedes a little bit more [up and down]. I think Red Bull and Lotus have probably been a sniff more consistent at this stage."

Lotus' main driver Raikkonen was heavily linked to replace Webber at Red Bull next season, but since the talks have broken down, Kimi seems headed to Ferrari. Webber thinks that a Raikkonen-Alonso partnership at Ferrari would be 'sensational and brilliant', and that tension would be OK.

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