Posting on Twitter on Thursday, Webber said: “Deals getting done when everyone is bored. Don’t underestimate Sebastian gets plenty of counsel from Bernie [Ecclestone].

“Could it be that the red car wasn’t particularly competitive preseason, stable regs and a future budget cap?”

Formula 1
Hamilton on pole in Russia with Schumacher's record in sight

It was announced on Thursday that the 30-year-old is to move to English team McLaren from Renault, once he has reached the end of this season’s contractual obligations, following a disappointing spell at the club.

With Sebastian Vettel’s departure from Ferrari also announced this week, some pundits have suggested that Riccardio could have moved into this prestigious place had it not been for Carlos Sainz, who was announced as Vettel’s replacement.

However, others have said negotiations between the Australian and McLaren would have started some time before the announcement of Vettel’s departure, which is unlikely to have had any bearing on the decisions.

Russian Grand Prix
Hamilton fastest in final Russian GP practice
Formula 1
Former Ferrari boss Stefano Domenicali appointed F1 CEO