For the first time in so many years, we have a title race in both Drivers and Constructors championships.
Mercedes dominance over the past 7 years in both the drivers and constructors’ championships has made it hard for a lot of fans to get excited as each season comes around. But in 2021 RedBull has finally risen to challenge Mercedes for both titles.
Max Verstappen came into the Championship with a lot of hype. One of the youngest drivers to debut in Formula 1 and the first of the new age of young drivers ready to take the F1 world by storm. In the years since we’ve welcomed in Norris, Russell, Leclerc, Giovinazi and Stroll and the future of the field looks even brighter. But Max has clearly been the crème of the crop, although Lando Norris is growing in confidence and ability and if that McLaren car can improve and they can develop a good car from the start of the new regulations in 2022, I can see Lando challenging Max for the Drivers’ championship.
But for this season we have the closest battle for the Championship since Lewis and Rosberg but this time it’s between 2 drivers on opposite teams, and there will be no team orders to decide the championship. RedBull and Max have the car to take it to Mercedes this season and the pressure is beginning to show in the Mercedes garage, especially with Valtteri Bottas moving on next season, the usual strength of the team has seriously weakened. It really has come down to a Max vs Lewis in the race for both titles, with Perez and Bottas both having what could be said as unimpressive seasons.
As it stands, Lewis Hamilton is leading the drivers’ standings by 2 points ahead of max Verstappen as we approach this weekend’s Turkish GP. And the fiery battles we’ve seen so far this season could be set to heat up. After Lewis taking out Max accidently at Silverstone after Max refused to yield position coming into Copse corner the war of words intensified. Both teams and drivers defending their positions. Then in Hungary Lewis’s Mercedes teammate Bottas flew through turn one taking out several cars and causing considerable damage to Max’s car who ended up being able to bring it home in 9th. A truly incredible performance from him.
It all flared up again at Monza when Max yet again refused to yield space to Lewis and they both collided sending Max’s car on top of Lewis’s proving the value of the halo. The contact ended both of their races and allowed Daniel Riccardo to take his first race win in a few years and a momentous result for McLaren. And just this past race at Sochi after following Lando for most of the race, Lewis took advantage of a costly pit strategy decision from Lando collected his 100th Grand Prix victory, while and equally impressive drive from Max saw him go from 20th on the grid to come home in 2nd. Had Max not finished in the points at Sochi it would have handed Lewis a huge points advantage but the way the race developed it put Max in a great position to keep the championship truly alive.
With 7 races left in the race for the title, it is too close to call. The way this season has gone anything could happen. Neither driver could score a single point for the remainder of the season with the hardness each other races. I could also see a 1-2 finish from both of them the rest of the way, splitting race wins and 2nd places. I hope Lando can continue to push both of them by qualifying on the front row and splitting them. Which would lead to more hard racing and for my sake as a McLaren fan a 3rd place finish in the constructor’s championship. But one thing is for sure, after years of no contest championship finishes and the important titles being decided well before the last race of the season, I think this year we will be crowning a driver’s champion and teams champion at Abu Dhabi this year, which will make it easily the most watched finish to a season in the last 7 years.
I just hope its Lewis and Mercedes on that top step when it’s all said and done.