Athletic

Verstappen could clinch F1 title but Hamilton not giving up challenge

Jeddah, The next round of the epic F1 title battles takes place in Saudi Arabia this weekend – where everything or nothing could be settled, said dpa international.

One of the hardest fought world championship battles in Formula One history will either conclude Sunday at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix or be spun on for one more, final, round in Abu Dhabi a week later.

Max Verstappen or Lewis Hamilton? Red Bull or Mercedes? It is all to play for with Red Bull’s Verstappen holding an eight-point advantage but Hamilton and Mercedes on a high after dominant victories in the last two races.

Verstappen’s win in Mexico, after a surprise success at the United States Grand Prix where Hamilton was expected to be strong, the title seemed a matter of time.

Mercedes risked it all in Brazil by giving Hamilton a new engine, and the grid penalties that go with it, but won by a distance. And in Qatar last time they were unmatched as well.

Hamilton realistically needs to win the next two grands prix to eclipse Michael Schumacher on seven world titles with his eighth championship.

One victory will give Verstappen a maiden world title and it could be done and dusted if he manages an 18-point swing to Hamilton in Jeddah – which is improbable though not impossible.

The constructors’ title is also in the balance with Mercedes, who have won every crown in the hybrid era since 2014, only five points clear of Red Bull.

That means Valtteri Bottas will be called upon for a last big effort before departing Mercedes at the end of the season, as will Red Bull number two Sergio Perez.

Source: Bahrain News Agency