Mike Stevens | Aug 25, 2010

Mark Webber has been tipped to still have his championship lead when the chequered flag waves at the end of November's 2010 season finale.

Though Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel, Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso are all still within a mere 20 points of the Australian title leader, Max Mosley thinks the 33-year-old is ready to be World Champion.

"He is very experienced and mentally strong," the long-time former FIA President is quoted by Germany's Welt newspaper. "He has the makings of a champion.

"He has improved once again this year as a driver, and is in the best car. I also think the public likes his story - a man who fought for years and could now be rewarded for this admirable energy," Mosley added.

Webber's German teammate, 23-year-old Vettel, is often referred to as the better of the pair, but Mosley thinks it is Webber who is "better equipped for the current situation".

Vettel, however, is "an extremely dynamic driver with a great future", according to Mosley.

Former Red Bull driver David Coulthard agrees with Mosley that it is the Milton Keynes based team occupying the role of favourite for the 2010 titles.

"People will say I am biased given my professional relationship with the team, but I'm sure they won't thank me for increasing the pressure on them," he said in his latest column for the Telegraph.

"The reality is they have had the quickest package all year and the gap, if anything, is growing," added Coulthard.

The Scot, however, thinks the remaining seven races of the season, to all take place within the next 12 weeks, are an exciting prospect for F1 fans.

"Certainly no season that I can recall has been as open and competitive," said Coulthard, now a F1 pundit for British television and a DTM driver.

(GMM)

 

Melbourne Court Fines Absent Hamilton $500

Lewis Hamilton swerved a conviction but not a $500 fine after a court hearing in Melbourne on Tuesday.

The 2008 World Champion, who did not travel to Australia for the hearing, was arrested, charged and summonsed for driving dangerously - doing a burn-out - near the Albert Park circuit during March's Grand Prix weekend.

He was represented by his lawyer in Melbourne Magistrates' Court on Tuesday, who pleaded guilty on the 25-year-old Briton's behalf.

Lawyer Sandip Mukerjea said the McLaren driver, who addressed two letters to the court, suffered "embarrassment, humiliation and distress" over the incident due to the widespread media coverage.

In one of the letters, Hamilton said the incident was due to a "momentary lapse of judgement" that had caused "immense" publicity that was a "form of punishment".

He also insisted that he was "in control of the car at all times".

His lawyer asked that a conviction not be recorded because it may impede Hamilton's ability to travel internationally.

The FIA also provided the court with a character reference.

The Magistrate said Hamilton escaped conviction because it was his first offense, but "this is about somebody in a responsible position behaving like a hoon".

"It doesn't show the general application of the level of responsibility and maturity that he must use every day on the race track," Magistrate Clive Alsop said.

(GMM)

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