Lewis Hamilton is not quite a match for F1's top drivers Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso.
That is the view of Mark Webber, who after retiring from formula one has already moved on to his next challenge, testing his 2014 Le Mans car and being officially unveiled as Porsche's lead driver.
But when asked to name the pick of the F1 field, veteran Australian Webber hovered between his friend Fernando Alonso, and his former Red Bull teammate Vettel.
"On Sundays Fernando over two hours is a handful," Webber told the BBC.
"There is no question about that. Over one lap I think he's not with Seb. But on Sundays between those two it's very, very tight."
Mercedes' Hamilton, Webber added, comes next.
"Lewis is handy but probably not quite as much of a machine as those two are. They (Vettel and Alonso) are literally 'plug them in and off they go'."
But while Webber struggles to choose between Alonso and Vettel, he thinks F1's reigning quadruple world champion remains the favourite for 2014 spoils -- even with the regulations changing so dramatically.
"It's an engine category next year more than probably a car-aerodynamic category, which is probably not a bad thing for some people," he said.
"But there will also still be decent driver input, especially from a brainpower perspective in terms of pacing and managing and all the technology the cars are going to have next year, which will help Sebastian," added Webber.
"That's right up his alley. Perfect for him."
McLaren supremo Dennis admits Brawn talks
McLaren supremo Ron Dennis has admitted he has held talks with Ross Brawn.
Brawn has stepped down as Mercedes' team boss, insisting he is taking a sabbatical and refusing to even think about his future until "at least next summer".
But the 58-year-old Briton has already been strongly linked with Honda, whose works F1 project he headed at Brackley until the Japanese carmaker pulled out of F1 in 2008.
Honda is now returning to the sport as a supplier of engines to McLaren from 2015.
So when asked if he has talked with Brawn, McLaren chairman Dennis told the BBC: "We were having a chat and we're mature motor racing people so of course you're going to talk about life.
"But going beyond that, as you would expect, it's normal stuff. People probe around, the possible, the impossible.
"My understanding is he intends to take a year off," added Dennis. "That's my understanding of his intention."
Brawn, on the other hand, is refusing to comment.
"It wouldn't be fair or appropriate to say if any parties have invited me for discussions," he said.
"I am starting my fishing trips early next year and only time will tell if formula one and me ever get together again."
Raikkonen picks number 7, Bottas picks 77
Drivers are spending the last days before Christmas coming up with the numbers they will carry for the rest of their formula one careers.
After the FIA kicked off the selection process, telling drivers they should name their top three picks between 2-99, it has already emerged that Force India's Sergio Perez has plumped for number 11.
It is believed Fernando Alonso considers 14 to be his lucky number, Jean-Eric Vergne wants the iconic 27, and Nico Rosberg has asked to carry number 6, which was raced to the 1982 title by his father Keke.
Now, adding the hashtag 'Bo77as', Williams driver Valtteri Bottas has told his 49,000 followers on Twitter that he has put down 77 as his first choice.
Felipe Massa has nominated the number 19, but others - like new Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo - aren't saying.
"For now I'll keep mine quiet," he said. "(But) it's a beautiful thing F1 drivers will have freedom to choose what number they want to race from next year."
His replacement at Toro Rosso, Daniil Kvyat, admitted: "I have been thinking all night long about my number."
And Lotus' Romain Grosjean added: "My 3 favourites sent to the FIA, but will keep it secret for now."
Finland's Ilta-Sanomat newspaper said Kimi Raikkonen has picked the number 7 to wear on his helmet and Ferrari next year.
Di Resta set for DTM return - report
Paul di Resta appears almost certain to return to the German touring car series DTM in 2014.
The Scot has lost his Force India seat, and the only remaining places on next year's grid - at Sauber, Marussia and Caterham - are likely to be filled by drivers with significant backing.
Di Resta had flirted with switching to the American Indycar series, possibly to replace his retiring cousin Dario Franchitti in the top Ganassi seat.
But Ganassi has signed Australian driver Ryan Briscoe instead.
"It is now almost definite that Di Resta will return to DTM, a title he won in 2010, with Mercedes," The Scotsman correspondent Jim McGill reports.
McGill said following Mark Webber to Le Mans could be another option, but for now, 27-year-old di Resta is not confirming the news.
"I'm not in a position to say what I'll be doing next year," he said.
"But one thing I know definitely is that I'll be in a competitive car, in a series I know I'll be capable of not only winning races, but also the championship."
Red Bull not ruling out Formula E entry
Red Bull has admitted it might consider joining the FIA's new electric single seater series, Formula E.
World champion Sebastian Vettel recently admitted he is no fan of the city racing concept, despite the fact the almost-silent cars are being built by famous F1 names Williams and McLaren.
"I don't like it at all," the Red Bull driver said.
"I think the people come here to feel formula one and there's not much to feel when a car goes by and you don't even hear anything else but the wind."
Many, however, do not agree with Vettel.
Former F1 driver Michael Andretti has entered a team, as has the German carmaker Audi. Alain Prost is involved with the E.Dams outfit, and Super Aguri will be on the grid when the racing kicks off in China next September.
The concept has even wooed Virgin back to open wheel racing, while Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio is listed as a founder of the Venturi team.
F1 world champion Red Bull's Dr Helmut Marko said: "We have been asked (to enter a team), but at the moment our full focus is on formula one.
"We will look again at this series and re-evaluate after the first season," he told the German newspaper Bild am Sonntag.
Meanwhile, Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo has admitted the marque should give "serious consideration" to taking on Le Mans with a prototype sports car.
"We have won with the 458 GTE," he said at Ferrari's Christmas lunch, "but I also quite like the idea of racing at Le Mans in the highest category.
"Who knows, maybe one day we can return and win, say thanks and come home."
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