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Webber: Verstappen trophy cabinet could have been more filled

The 2021 Formula 1 pre-season testing is underway and it was Max Verstappen who topped the timesheets. Former Red Bull driver Mark Webber believes this year is Verstappen's best chance of toppling Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton.

Mark Webber is confident Max Verstappen and Red Bull can deliver their first world title in Formula 1's turbo-hybrid era after seven seasons of Mercedes dominance. The Australian sees Verstappen's win at the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix last year as a key turning point. It was Verstappen's second victory of 2020 but it came on a track where Mercedes have been unbeatable at in the last six years. Webber thinks the large carryover of regulations for this season plays into Red Bull's hands. "This is the best chance for Verstappen and Red Bull in the current era," Webber said in an interview with De Telegraaf. "Mercedes have a great car, a great engine and a great driver like Lewis Hamilton, of course, but the rules are largely the same compared to last year." Verstappen has won 10 races in his F1 career and enters his seventh season in the sport. He is yet to challenge for the championship and Webber says Verstappen's stats don't do him any justice. "It would have been [more wins] if Red Bull had been a bit more competitive with Honda," added Webber. "But maybe you should give it time, Michael Schumacher didn't win directly at and with Ferrari either. "I hope Red Bull has the car to compete this year, that would be great for everyone. "Max is at Hamilton's level and we're going to see if that's still the case over 23 Grands Prix. However, should Hamilton stop in the coming years, it will be a battle between Verstappen and Charles Leclerc."

RESULTS 2024 F1 Monaco Grand Prix - Free Practice 2