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Webber says two drivers 'best' in 2019

Webber says two drivers 'best' in 2019
© Reuters
Mark Webber has named two drivers as "the best" on the current F1 grid.

Mark Webber has named two drivers as "the best" on the current F1 grid.

The former F1 driver says he has been following Barcelona testing and reading the news ahead of the 2019 season opener in Australia next week.

"There's a lot of shadow-boxing going on," he told the Australian Financial Review.

The Australian agrees with the common paddock perception that Ferrari is leading Mercedes heading into Melbourne.

"Mercedes might be slightly on the back foot, though from an incredibly high benchmark," said the former Red Bull driver.

And he thinks his old team will also be competitive at Albert Park, particularly if there is a spot of rain on the greasy street circuit.

"There's the Max Verstappen factor too," said Webber, 42. "In those conditions Max and Lewis Hamilton are the best in the world. Max is going to take a lot of risks, put his nose in everywhere."

As for his countryman Daniel Ricciardo, Webber thinks his fellow Australian will struggle to be competitive initially at Renault.

"It's going to be a long campaign to get them competitive but he'll lift that team, there's no doubt about it," he said.

Could Ricciardo even win a race?

"He'd need some stars lining up, but it can happen. He's not ballistically quick over one lap but when it comes to racing -- if anyone can pull something out of that Renault on Sunday it's him," said Webber.

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Mark Webber pictured at the Aussie Open on January 27, 2019
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