Why Lewis Hamilton will dominate this Formula One season


View gallery


Lewis Hamilton will be found at the front in the upcoming Formula One season for Mercedes, according to former Red Bull driver Mark Webber.

The Brit has been singled out for producing a dominant year in the sport with backing from Webber, whose relationship with now struggling Red Bull was never overly cosy.

Hamilton's Mercedes has shown the most promise over the winter and the Australian is the latest to forecast a very strong season for the Englishman.

"I'm predicting a big strong year for F1 in the UK, because you're probably going to have Lewis at the front and also Williams doing well," Webber said at the launch of the Porsche 919, the car he will race in this year's World Endurance Championship.

He believes the Mercedes that Hamilton will be driving this season has "a lot more to come" and thinks he will enjoy leading from the front in a much more positive campaign.

The 2008 world champion has led the way in terms of mileage and largely in terms of pace too as Mercedes have made a commanding early impact in pre-season testing.

View gallery


Hamilton said that the 2014 pre-season was like no other he had experienced, and he warned that there is "a lot more to come" from the Mercedes after he did not get the most out of the super-soft tyre.

"It's definitely the weirdest and most difficult pre-season to be able to judge where everyone is," he said.

"There's still things we're learning, things we haven't covered, there's tonnes of stuff. I think there's a lot more to come.

"There will be mistakes through the whole paddock I'm sure, and hopefully we'll make the least."

He added: "Sebastian [Vettel] is the reigning world champion so he's the target for everyone. But I know my team is strong so hopefully we'll be able to fight with them."

While Red Bull have struggled with mechanical problems throughout the 2014 pre-season testing, Hamilton has thrived and appears to be returning to his former self in terms of hunger and enjoyment for the sport.

The FW36 ran for 936 laps before experiencing its first major failure at the end of the final day of testing: that of its Mercedes engine, which has impressed all of the teams using it. So things are looking good for the team.

But Webber also had another big prediction to make as he backed Williams to have a very distinguished campaign.

View gallery


Having had a very strong period of winter testing, Williams further reinforced their credentials for a return to the top of the sport by announcing a hugely lucrative new title sponsorship deal with Martini when they unveiled their new car.

Williams have pace too, with new driver Felipe Massa setting the quickest lap of all in Bahrain during a qualifying simulation, pace that was also demonstrated over race-length runs.

Zak Brown the founder and CEO of JMI, the world's largest motorsports marketing agency, who brokered the deal with Martini, believes that Williams are set to return to their former glories.

"Williams made the most off-season noise and progress from a commercially attractive proposition," he said.

"It enables you to take two drivers you are paying and get away from drivers bringing a budget. I think they have the two drivers they want.

"Martini sponsorship allows them to hire two of the best drivers, it's a game changer for Williams."

So Hamilton and Williams: two former powers set to return to the top of F1 this season in a marked change from the most recent campaigns with Red Bull dominant?

Do you believe that Hamilton will dominate the upcoming season in F1 or is this prediction misjudged? And what about Williams: are they to return as a real force? Post your comments below...

View comments (143)