Lewis Hamilton is fighting for his eighth world title in Formula 1. He is eight points behind Red Bull star Max Verstappen, who can already become world champion on Sunday. The most important points before the spectacle.
The crash of Verstappen and Hamilton in the Italian GP.
That's what it's about
Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen are fighting for the Formula 1 world title.
The fight will be two races before the end, more and more intense and exciting.
We'll give you the most important information before the penultimate race of the F1 season.
How is Hamilton feeling before the next world championship fight?
Lewis Hamilton believes he is “more relaxed” than ever in the World Cup duel with Max Verstappen. This Formula 1 duel is “different in the sense that we have two teams that are extremely close together,” said the Mercedes driver, referring to Red Bull and Verstappen. “We're fighting in uncharted territory because no other team has been able to win eight constructors 'or drivers' titles in a row.” Mercedes can achieve the eighth double in a row this season.
Before the GP Saudi Arabia on Sunday (from 6.30 p.m. live in our ticker), Verstappen has eight points ahead of Hamilton and could already this weekend To become world champion. “I'm grateful to have these two races to fight,” said Hamilton before the last two GPs of the season.
Is Verstappen already thinking about the title?
Max Verstappen does not want to be distracted by the thought of the possible early win of the World Cup title in Saudi Arabia. He will approach this weekend as he has “done the whole season,” said the Red Bull driver. “I've always been pretty neutral,” said Verstappen of his balance. He and Red Bull would be “naturally very happy” to win the title. A possible crash with pursuer Lewis Hamilton from Mercedes, who is eight points behind the championship leader two races before the end of the season, is of no interest to Verstappen. “I don't think about it,” said the 24-year-old. But he and his team are «very motivated».
How will Verstappen become world champion in Saudi Arabia?
As mentioned, the Dutchman has eight points ahead of the F1 star in the Mercedes. Formula 1 has been fighting for the title since 1950. The decision has been made 14 times so far with two races to go. The decision about the world champion was only made 29 times in the last GP. These scenarios would be enough for Verstappen to win the early world championship title:
Verstappen wins and at the same time gets the extra point for the fastest race lap, Hamilton is in sixth place at the most.
Verstappen wins without a fastest race lap, Hamilton is in seventh place at the most.
Verstappen finished second and at the same time got the extra point for the fastest race lap, Hamilton finished in tenth place at the most.
Verstappen finished second without the fastest race lap, Hamilton remained without points.
What makes the route?
Formula 1 is making its first stop in Saudi Arabia. The course is the 75th to host a Formula 1 race and the fourth in the Middle East after Abu Dhabi, Bahrain and Qatar. The Jeddah Corniche Circuit is also the second longest on the racing calendar and, according to the simulations, is already one of the fastest.
Many passages are narrow and do not allow any mistakes along the walls – there is a risk of safety car phases. The long full-throttle passages and the fast corners should suit Mercedes. “The car has developed well lately and is probably better than it has ever been this season,” said Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff, confirming that his team had “a strong momentum”.
Are human rights an issue?
Hamilton has also expressed his unease about the Grand Prix against the background of the much-criticized human rights situation in Saudi Arabia. «Do I feel comfortable being here? I would not say that. But it's not my choice to be here. Sport made the decision to be here, ”said the socially and politically committed Mercedes driver before the Formula 1 premiere in the conservative kingdom. Hamilton was welcomed in the country.
Nevertheless: “I consider it our duty to raise awareness of certain issues, especially human rights.” After Qatar, Hamilton will also wear his new helmet in rainbow livery at the last two races of the season in Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi. The 36-year-old would like to support the LGBTQIA + community on the Arabian Peninsula. Even if he says: «Just because I change my helmet won't change the world.»
Why is a Hamilton sponsor being criticized?
Even the Mercedes racing team cannot avoid hearing criticism. The cars are sponsored in Saudi Arabia by the Kingspan company. Four years ago, a fire broke out in Grenfell Tower in London, killing 72 people. Back then, a refrigerator fire spread rapidly. Apparently also because the company had used cheap cladding materials in the construction.
Survivors of the fire see the Mercedes deal as “really shocking”. They asked Mercedes to cancel the deal. A statement from the racing team said: “Our partner Kingspan has supported the investigation and is still helping to find out what went wrong and why in the Grenfell Tower tragedy.”
Will Formula 1 legend Frank Williams say goodbye?
Yes. Formula 1 in Saudi Arabia says goodbye to team boss legend Frank Williams. Teams paid tribute to the former racing team owner, who died on Sunday at the age of 79, with special paintwork on their cars bearing the Brit's name. Among them was Sebastian Vettel's Aston Martin team at the opening training session in Jeddah on Friday.
Williams driver George Russell wore a special-designed helmet to commemorate. «We have to go out there with a smile on our face and do the best possible job for Frank and William
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