Formula 1: Lewis Hamilton is 'propping up' Mercedes this season

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Former Formula 1 driver turned TV pundit Mark Webber has said that Lewis Hamilton has propped Mercedes up so far this year and is also expecting fireworks between the Briton and Max Verstappen this season.

Hamilton leads the Drivers' standings once again this year but by just a solitary point with the fight looking tougher than it's been for several years as Max Verstappen and Red Bull look like genuine title contenders.

Indeed, some even think that Red Bull and the Dutchman are the team to beat this season and it seems as though that is something that Webber might subscribe to.

Speaking to Marca, the Aussie suggested that Hamilton has propped his Mercedes team up so far this year, with him getting points on the board despite the car perhaps not being as dominant as in previous seasons.

Indeed, he also talked up the talents of his former Red Bull team and is tipping fireworks at some point this year between the two title protagonists:

“I think Hamilton has propped Mercedes up a bit in the first two races.

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“The car is not easy, far from it, but Lewis has got the results and even leads the World Championship.

“But he has a tough rival in Verstappen. We are all fans of Max’s style, watching his racing is incredibly spectacular, which is exactly what we ask of an F1 driver.

“They are two gladiators and that’s what this sport needs, an intense rivalry… and there will come a peak moment when there will be fireworks between the two, I’m convinced.

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“At the moment they get on well and have a lot of respect for each other, but during the season? Hamilton is a 12-round boxer, he will always be on the prowl and against him you have to be ready to take the fight.”

Lewis and Max have already gone wheel-to-wheel in anger this season with Hamilton fending off Verstappen in Bahrain before the Dutchman edged out the reigning champion with a great move at the first chicane at Imola last time out.

The respect, as Webber says, is clearly there at the moment and time will only tell as the season progresses and the pressure ramps up as to what we'll see from the pair as they continue to face off on track.

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