Mark Webber makes ballsy Sergio Perez and Lewis Hamilton prediction

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton had a miserable weekend at the 2023 Qatar Grand Prix, but he escaped a penalty.

Ex-Formula 1 driver Mark Webber still believes Sergio Perez will beat Lewis Hamilton to second in the Drivers’ Championship with five races remaining, although the Australian notes that the remaining venues could prove challenging for the Red Bull driver.

Perez endured a third consecutive Grand Prix to forget last weekend in Qatar, where he scored just a single point.

It marked his first top-10 finish since the Italian Grand Prix, where he finished second behind Max Verstappen.

Since Monza, Perez’s form has been woeful, to the point where it’s allowed Hamilton to have a sniff at second in the standings.

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The Red Bull driver is extremely lucky to have left the Lusail International Circuit with a 30-point lead over the seven-time World Champion, who crashed out of the race on the opening lap.

However, Hamilton still reduced his deficit across the weekend after finishing fifth in the sprint race, which Perez crashed out of.

The changeable conditions have been a real struggle for Perez all season, with him often being unable to find a right balance even when it goes from daytime to night-time.

No matter whether it’s a track going from wet to dry or from daytime to night-time, the 33-year-old just struggles to adjust.

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This could come into play at the likes of the US Grand Prix and the Brazilian Grand Prix, where rain can be a regular part of the weekend if history is anything to go by.

Las Vegas and Abu Dhabi will also see changeable conditions, with some sessions taking place during the day and some at night.

It’s set up to be a very challenging end to the season for Perez, who arguably needs to finish second to enter 2024 without his seat already being at risk.

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“Well when we talk about weather that’s gonna be an interesting one with Brazil and Mexico, and once we get out of these UAE countries, as that’s where Sergio is still struggling, these mixed weather conditions,” Webber told Channel 4.

“He’s lost a lot of points throughout the year, of course. That’s where Lewis is just going to be relentless. That’ll be pretty brutal if he tracks him down.”

“But,” he added, “I think Sergio will still nip it.”