“I’m rooting for Verstappen, but I’m afraid Hamilton will win again.” Who will become the champion of F1?
On the eve of the Belgian Grand Prix, the editors of the “Championship” turned to racing experts with a simple and at the same time such a difficult question – who will become the champion of Formula 1 this season? And it seems that you only have to choose from two candidates, but it was still not easy to answer the question.
Nikolay Vetrov, first coach of Sergey Sirotkin, motorsport manager:
“The champion will be Hamilton. Mentally, he is the best prepared. Composure is strongly developed, great experience. Well, Mercedes is Mercedes. It is clear that everyone is tired of Lewis constantly winning. I also have an antipathy to him in many ways. Political things do not paint him. If he hadn’t done all this, he could have been brought closer to Schumacher. And so – these things … To change the hegemony. It’s time”.
Sergey Sirotkin, ex-Formula 1 driver, SMP Racing driver:
“The fight between Hamilton and Verstappen will be very tight. There will be times when Red Bull will be frankly faster, will be able to use this and win back points. There will also be mistakes on their part, they will not be quick, they will make mistakes – for example, as happened in the last races.
This season turns out to be the most unpredictable. Before him, there was a clear trend: on which track, on which tires and who rides better. Not clearly, but it was approximately possible to predict everything. Now is such a season that it is difficult to draw conclusions: only it seems to me that I have identified the trend, as in the next race everything collapses. Very unpredictable. You also need to understand that time goes by, teams are working on cars, so Mercedes at the beginning of the season and before the summer break are different cars in behavior. I don’t expect Mercedes to be faster on a stable basis. Rather, I expect them to be able to fight Red Bull tightly until the very end.
In the fight between Max and Lewis I will put 50 to 50. Now they look exactly the same to me, it is difficult for someone to give priority. Lewis will be slightly more stable in terms of scoring. And Max will be faster, but, as practice has shown at the beginning of the season, Red Bull may have some mistakes more often. Especially when they see that they lack the pace for a confident victory. And if even in qualifying “Mercedes” will exert pressure, it will provoke mistakes and loss of points “Red Bull”.
Nikolay Martsenko, ex-pilot of the Renault World Series:
“The Mercedes team took a very serious step from Silverstone, it was evident in Hungary. Max lost the initiative a little. Now Verstappen needs to try to get into his own rhythm. Japan was removed from the calendar, which would have been more suitable for Red Bull, but, on the other hand, they improved in terms of engine and top speed. Moreover, “Red Bull” more often tunes the car in order to level the deficit in speed.
Max has a real chance to win this year. He needs to be sure to reach the finish line in every race and wherever he will reach – to earn points. If Verstappen allows Lewis to get into his rhythm, Hamilton will again be able to keep the first place for himself.
Before Hungary, I would bet on Max to win, but if Mercedes’ luck continues now, it will be very difficult for him. And yet I’ll bet on Verstappen, he had a cool start to the season. Red Bull works better with tires, warms them up much faster. We saw this in qualifications, races and wet starts, and dry. Max can hurt himself in a couple of seconds, if Hamilton does not immediately attack and does not act aggressively.
From the advantages of “Mercedes” can be called the fact that they are better at saving tires. Next is the question of tactics. In Barcelona, they were able to win in a similar way, but still it is a little easier for the Red Bull pilots to turn on the tires and work with them. This is the key to success in modern Formula 1. My bet for the season is 70-30 in favor of Verstappen. “
Mikhail Alyoshin, ex-pilot of IndyCar, racer of “SMP Racing”:
“I would like the issue of the championship to be decided at the last race. To the last there was an intrigue between Max and Lewis. I’m not rooting for any of them, but I would like the show to last longer.
Verstappen is experienced enough to win the championship. The question is solely how much the car will allow him and whether he will be lucky in races. But Mercedes is very strong, very strong. “
Boris Shulmeister, Russian circuit racing champion:
“Personally, I’m rooting for Verstappen, but I’m afraid that Hamilton will win again. On skill, on the totality of the team’s experience and his personal. A mature driver has more chances. Hamilton is not an evil genius, he does not want to do badly, he is just the most experienced dude in the garden. He knows all the tracks and where to overtake. This is what Max Verstappen lacks.
Max can win due to stability, he has amazing speed, he is a very fast pilot. Verstappen is also quite experienced, but still not as experienced as Lewis. The only difference between them is stability. As soon as Max calms down, he will reach the finish line every race and stop making mistakes such as relegation in England – he will regularly go around Hamilton. “