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On the starting line - Walla! sport

2021-12-02T15:35:08.378Z

Two races to end the season in Formula 1: The Dutch Red Bull driver leads the rankings, the British first at the betting agencies. So which of them will also celebrate at the end of the season?



Lewis Hamilton has yet to overtake Max Verstaffen in the most exciting battle for the Formula 1 World Championship in years.

The driver of the Red Bull-Honda team is ahead of the driver of the Mercedes team by eight points with two more races left to end the season.

To overtake his opponent and win his eighth and fifth consecutive championships, Hamilton needs two wins in two races - in Saudi Arabia this coming Sunday and in Abu Dhabi a week later.

But after the Qatar Grand Prix in which the Briton won his seventh victory of the season, he overtook the Dutch driver at least among the betting companies, with the probability of winning the 2021 championship increasing to 63%, while the probability that Wurttemberg will be crowned world champion for the first time dropped to 37%.

These are probabilities that did not seem reasonable just before two races, with the probability of winning Verstappen winning the championship was 75% and that of Hamilton 25%.

More on Walla!

Lewis Hamilton won in Qatar, the gap from Max Verstappen shrank to 8 points

To the full article

Will also celebrate at the end of the season?

Verstappen (Photo: Reuters)

What caused the dramatic change in power relations at the betting companies is what happened on the tracks in the last two races: Hamilton's big win at the Brazil Grand Prix and the more routine win at the Qatar Grand Prix - two tracks where the Mercedes showed a significant speed advantage over that of Red Bull Honda .



But Hamilton's worries have not yet completely subsided, especially when faced with a young, ambitious and fast driver who has yet to learn to curb his behavior on the track, and as he has shown on several occasions this year, he is willing to do quite a few, including collisions, sometimes damaging himself. In his career the most coveted world championship in motor sports.



"You just have to be very careful," Hamilton said in response to a question from Michael Schmidt, a veteran Formula One Motor Sport sports reporter for Europe's major car magazine, referring to the question of Verstappen's behavior on the track.

"You have to know what's going to happen. You always have to be willing to do anything to avoid an accident. Even if it means getting off track. After all, you want to finish the race. If you're too stubborn and defend your position, then the accident will happen."

Vershtafen?

"You just have to be very careful."

Hamilton (Photo: GettyImages, CARL DE SOUZA)

And in the race in Brazil Hamilton took exactly the necessary care. When he tried to overtake Verstappen in the 47th lap and move up from second to first, the Dutchman braked at the entrance to the turn 25 meters after the normal stopping point, leaving himself no chance to take the left turn in the regular trajectory, with the Briton on the outside of the turn, in danger of a collision. . Hamilton, who had already bypassed Verstappen in a straight line, anticipated this possibility, and when a Red Bull driver could not take the turn, he also proceeded straight to the escape area, both getting off the track, and returning to it in the same order with Wurstafen leading. After another ten laps, Hamilton completed before that turn the detour after a brilliant planning, which gave him one of the greatest victories of his career.



"In Brazil I made sure to avoid a collision, I was always very decent in situations like this, I would say," Hamilton told Schmidt, in a wide-ranging interview.

"You do not always get it perfect, of course. He is not my first opponent to behave like this. Now that I am a little older, I look a little closer at the character of other drivers and their personal background. How a person grows up, always has an impact on how we are. Behaving. "



Like many athletes, behind Hamilton Wurstafen are two fathers with insane ambitions, who did everything in their power to make their son fulfill what, at least in Verstaffen's case, was his father's dream - to win the world championship on the racetrack.

Yoss's career has never skyrocketed.

Max with his father (Photo: GettyImages)

Joss Verstappen, Max's father, was a super-fast racing driver in the early '90s but his career never took off. The most memorable event of his 107-year-old Grand Prix career, mostly in negligible teams, took place at the 1994 German Grand Prix, when the Benton car he was driving caught fire during a refueling stop, in one of the iconic photos of that period. Verstappen, who was Michael Schumacher's team-mate then on his way to the World Cup, escaped unscathed, but this season in the shadow of Schumacher, and with Flavio Briatore, a boss who never considered the other driver, did no good to his career, as he never promoted anyone's career. Another driver.



Verstaffen Sr. is known for violence he has more than once resorted to. In 1998 he and his father, Max's grandfather, were violently charged with a karting track that ended in a one-man skull fracture and a five-year suspended sentence for both of them, after reaching an out-of-court agreement with the victim; In 2008 Verstappen was charged with assaulting his second wife, and sentenced to a three-month probation and probation; In 2011 he was reported to have attacked his ex-girlfriend; In 2012 he was arrested on a charge of attempted murder in the trampling of another former girlfriend, held in custody for two weeks and released. The two later married and had a son and a daughter before divorcing in 2017.



Verstappen the Elder promoted his son's career from the age of 3, while he himself was still a racing driver, but one whose future was already behind him. "Max was my life project," he said in late 2019 in an interview with Dutch magazine Formule1. "I wanted to win with him, to be a champion. We had a goal together. I'll put it this way: I did more for Max's career than for my own."



In contrast, Hamilton's path to Formula 1 would have been completely different, but it too would not have been possible without the great desire of Anthony Hamilton, Lewis' father, a native of Granada, working for a British telephone company that dared to break the racial barrier in motor sport.

Hamilton may not have been the first black racer in the UK, but he soon became the most important black racer in history.

Anthony Hamilton did not have the financial means necessary to advance his son's career.

He lives in public housing in the town of Stevenage, north of London.

In the early years he worked on additional jobs to fund Hamilton's first steps in sports.

Hamilton's talent, however, shone rapidly, and sponsors and supporters began to arrive at a relatively young age, which facilitated his development in the second decade of his life.

Needless to say, Hamilton's father was never charged with assault.

Ayrton Senna.

Hamilton's Idol (Photo: GettyImages)

"Why is clean racing so important? Many great race drivers were anything but clean - even your great idol Ayrton Senna," Schmidt asked Hamilton. "That's exactly the way my father raised me," Hamilton replied. "He always told me to give the answer on the track. Pushed me properly as a kid, both in school and on the track. But we wanted to succeed in the right way, not in a collision. So, the others, can not deny later that you are better. So there are no excuses, "Like an accident. I want to be the cleanest driver and get to my destination through pure speed, hard work and the necessary ambition. So that in the end no one can doubt what I have achieved."



In the 20 races of the 2021 season held so far, Verstaffen has won by nine, Hamilton by seven and the rest by four more drivers. Of course, only the two compete for the world championship.



In the first half of the season Hamilton made more mistakes than usual and also in the second half there was no shortage of mistakes, whether in driving or tactical, but during the British Grand Prix Hamilton proved that he did not lose the toughness essential to winning the world championship.

Quite a few accidents with Verstappen.

Hamilton (Photo: Reuters)

At Emilia Romana's Grand Prix, the Emula track, Italy, Hamilton seemed to have shown a certain softness, allowing Worstafen to finish a detour in the first Chicken immediately after the jump-off, from which the Dutchman went on to win. Similar events, in which Hamilton no longer seems sharp and tough enough to win the World Cup, took place in a number of other races, until at the British Grand Prix in Silverstone Hamilton recovered.



The Briton jumped into the race from second place, and Verstappen from the Paul Position, and after a failed detour in one of the first turns Hamilton tried another detour in a 'Cops' turn, a fast turn taken at speeds approaching 300 km / h. With Verstappen's Red Bull trying to keep the ideal race line into the curve, regardless of the presence of Hamilton's Mercedes next to him.



In doing so Verstappen took an unnecessary risk, since being in the outer lane his chance of being harmed in the event of a collision with Hamilton was higher than that of Hamilton. Indeed, when the front left wheel of the Mercedes rubbed against the right rear wheel of the Red Bull, at about 300 km / h, the Red Bull car was sent to the safety fence and stopped at a power of 51g and out of the race. Hamilton's Mercedes was not harmed. Was to prevent the accident, and was punished by stopping for 10 seconds at Pitts, a punishment that did not prevent him from winning.



Another accident between the two occurred at the Italian Grand Prix, when the tracks of Mercedes and Red Bull intersected in the 27th lap at the first Chikan, at the end of the fast lane.

This is a chicken that is taken slowly.

Hamilton got to it first, got in on the inside line, the better one, and Verstappen who was on the outside line and slightly behind had to get off the track to avoid an accident.

However he chose not to do so, hitting a Mercedes and finishing the maneuver with his car parked on the Mercedes, with both cars out of the race, in this year’s iconic photo.

The accident this time served its purpose, as it retained first place at the World Championships.

A similar situation, in the same race, occurred in the first lap, when Hamilton erred in an attempt to overtake Verstappen and entered at the same time into the second Chicken.

The Briton, retreating from the detour attempt too late, was forced to get off the track and when he returned to the track he lost a place to one of the competitors, after which he spent the next 25 laps.

Will he win the championship already in the upcoming race?

Verstappen (Photo: Reuters)

The fight between the two is accompanied by the two bosses of their teams, Toto Wolf the Mercedes boss, and Christian Horner, the Red Bull boss, who also stars in the Race to Survive series on Netflix. Who built McLaren and led it to many championships, and Frank Williams, who died earlier this week, founded the Williams team and led it to drivers 'and manufacturers' championships. Horner presents his arguments in a more blunt and sometimes whiny way.



After the accident at Silverstone, Horner demanded that Hamilton be severely punished and argued that the punishment Hamilton received was not sufficient. The fact that he also won in the end. After the accident at the Italian Grand Prix, Horner defended Verstappen when he said it was a "racing incident", the term for an accident that is an integral part of car racing and is not to blame. "Hamilton could have given him more space," Horner said, though he knew that in order to turn to Wurttemberg there was room for Hamilton to stop.



The clash between the teams culminated in the Brazilian Grand Prix, to which Mercedes arrived with a car that as magic headquarters was significantly faster than Rebellion Bull, a car it had been chasing all season.

Horner initially attributed this to the fact that a new engine was installed in Hamilton's car.

However, after the early ranking end of Saturday's sprint race, which replaces the official end, Hamilton's car was disqualified for a technical foul, apparently reported by Red Bull, an unacceptable practice in Formula One history. In fifth place, which secured him tenth place on the grid for the Grand Prix, while Wurttemberg jumped from second place.

It will not be boring in Jeddah.

Hamilton (Photo: Reuters)

The Mercedes was significantly faster than the Red Bull that weekend, and Horner did not hesitate to predict that even though Hamilton would leap from tenth place he had a chance to win. Hamilton did not disprove Horner's prediction, and within a few laps he climbed to second place, tailing the Dutchman's hail bull, until he overtook him on the second attempt and after an impressive deception exercise, which forced Verstappen to take a different race line than usual. Where the detour was carried out.



"When you're on the outside [of the reference] line it's almost always a more sensible option to give up, so you can finish the race," Hamilton told Schmidt. "In the inner line there were situations where I clearly felt I was in the right place, like in Silverstone. Look at the pictures again: my front wheel was in the same line with its front wheel. It was not that my front wheel was in line with its rear wheel at the bend in the bend. If I were running In this situation like Max did in Brazil, i.e. staying on the gas, getting off track and keeping local, how do you think it would end? I do not feel too big or too successful to avoid a quarrel. I know sometimes you have to go that way. There you have to be smart "Sometimes you lose points in the process."



With two races left in the season, Verstappen can win the World Cup in the upcoming Red Sea coast race, on the streets of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, and another oil country willing to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in hosting an important sports competition to promote its image.

The latter two tracks are considered an advantage for Mercedes, which has propelled Hamilton to the lead at least among the betting companies.

But in this fight, one tilt of Verstaffen's rudder and the other hundredth of Hamilton's lack of concentration is enough to close the gap on the chance of winning an eighth world championship.

It will not be boring in Jeddah.

And not just if Hamilton, like in Qatar, shows up with a helmet painted in the color of LBGTQ flags, a show that will not particularly please the Saudi hosts.

Source: walla

All sports articles on 2021-12-02

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