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Mark Webber has labelled former teammate Sebastian Vettel as the best driver on the current F1 grid ahead of the 2016 season. The German is entering his second season with Ferrari after spending six years with the Red Bull Racing team.
The Australian, who currently competes in the FIA World Endurance Championships with the Porche works team, partnered Vettel for five years, and was beaten in every campaign they drove together for the Austrian-owned outfit. The Ferrari driver won all four of his titles during his time with the Milton Keynes- based team and his former teammate believes that he has all the capabilities to help the Maranello-based outfit to get back to the top.
Apart from Vettel, the former Red Bull driver also believes Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton and McLaren-Honda's Fernando Alonso are among the top three in the sport at the moment. The Briton is the reigning world champion while the latter, despite a hugely successful career with Renault and Ferrari, is currently struggling for form and motivation with Honda trying hard to match their rival constructors following their re-entry into the spot last season.
"If you're talking Formula One, the good boys always find themselves at the front and the good guys always find themselves in the best cars. Lewis has always been an incredibly fast, naturally gifted guy in all conditions and he's very, very insensitive to tracks and to light rain and drizzle. It's these sorts of things that make the calibre of a very, very fast and phenomenal driver," Webber said, as quoted by ESPN F1.
"Someone like Seb, he's very good at the resources, at pulling the whole team together and getting everything around him and filling in his weaknesses. He's exceptional on that front. Fernando, I wouldn't say he's running out of puff, but his motivation I think at the moment is challenged for sure."
"But those three [Vettel, Hamilton and Alonso] are on a very, very, high level. And if I had to pick one, I'd probably pick Sebastian, in terms of pulling the whole juggernaut together and getting the whole team going, which I think he will do at Ferrari shortly," the Australian driver explained.
"He's notoriously consistent and unfortunately I was on the receiving end of a lot of that, but he's pretty handy. Lewis has a little bit more of that mind-management challenge, whereas Sebastian is true to form in the Germanic fashion of that delivery."
Webber named ex-Lotus and current Renault works team driver Pastor Maldonado the worst driver on the grid. "Probably Maldonado [on the worst on the grid]. He's out of his depth and just shouldn't be there. He's making up the numbers basically," Webber added.