lhave The Dutchman’s advantage in the Red Bull driver has been reduced to just eight pointsHamilton won two rounds in a row in Brazil and Qatar.
Let’s start with the basics:
- Given the current standings, only Hamilton or Verstappen have the chance to win the title.
- Verstappen is theoretically capable of winning the title in Saudi Arabia, unlike Hamilton, who will have to wait until the final round of Abu Dhabi to decide it.
- In the event of a tie on points, Verstappen will win the title.
From a statistical point of view only, Verstappen is the favourite thanks to his current advantage in points, but one must take into account Mercedes’ strong pace that Red Bull has not been able to match over the last two races.
On the other hand, we have a new circuit for everyone in Jeddah, and the priority of pace between the two teams is still not clear there.
The Dutchman had a difference of 19 points after the Mexican Grand Prix, but it narrowed to only eight points after Qatar, a difference that will disappear if Hamilton succeeds in winning in Saudi Arabia and scoring the fastest lap.
Then, any place other than Verstappen’s second in Saudi Arabia, will ensure that Hamilton reaches Abu Dhabi as the leader of the general classification.
Odds of Verstappen winning the title in Jeddah:
- If the Dutchman won the Jeddah race, and scored the fastest lap, Hamilton was satisfied with sixth or less.
- If Verstappen wins, and Hamilton is satisfied with seventh or less.
- In the event that Verstappen finished second and scored the fastest lap, Hamilton was satisfied with 10th or less.
- If the Dutchman finished second, Hamilton did not score points.
- Any other position scored by a Red Bull driver, this means that the title battle will continue until the final round in Abu Dhabi.
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing and Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes
It is noteworthy that achieving a win and a second place in the next two rounds guarantees the title to the Dutchman without worrying about the fastest lap. But again, Hamilton’s very strong pace lately should not be ignored, which is making Verstappen’s job difficult.
Other factors may play a role in the frantic battle, such as reliability and pace issues for their two teammates Valtteri Bottas and Sergio Perez, who could play a crucial role in terms of being able to prevent or award the fastest lap point in each race.
So, Hamilton has no choice but to aim for the maximum points in both races, ie to strive for victory with the fastest lap.
A tough task against the seven-time world champion, but Hamilton has proven several times that he is a driver who doesn’t stop until the last minute!
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