Mark Webber believes Mercedes and their engine remain the benchmark in Formula 1 despite Honda's improved entry, which is why the Australian believes Red Bull and Max Verstappen need a perfect season if they are to take down Lewis Hamilton.
The two teams look to be the class of the 2021 F1 grid after a scintillating battle between Max and Lewis in Bahrain. Webber hopes the fight continues well into the latter stages of the season, and even then, Red Bull have a slim margin of error if they are to come out on top.
"We're just praying that Max can go deep with Lewis and the drivers championship," Webber stated on the On the Marbles podcast. "If he can take it to the last two or three [races], then that would be awesome.
"It's a long season and we know that Merc engine operates. It's still the benchmark even if they are apples to apples on power, but we still see some vulnerabilities every now and again [from Honda].
"I know they had a good year last year, but using the Honda over the course of such a long, stretched out season and stretching the mileage across the power units is not something to be trivialised. So I think that Lewis can handle some of those DNFs, but Max needs a perfect season to beat Lewis."