A lot can still happen in the four races that remain to finish the World Championship, but what is clear is that, after a new victory, the eighth, by Verstappen, in the Mexican GP, the Dutchman from Red Bull deserves to be the champion. , above Hamilton.
You cannot be a Formula 1 world champion if you spend more than half of the World Cup staring at the ass (or not even that, if it is too far away) of your main rival for the title. Here’s what Lewis Hamilton should think, straight after straight, curve after curve, race after race, about Max Verstappen. Because in the Mexican Grand Prix the same thing happened again: victory for Red Bull, and second place for Mercedes. Which, translated into the World Cup standings, gives Verstappen a further 19 points advantage. It is not yet a distance race, but he has less and less.
Because in Mexico history repeated itself. And that Mercedes hit the table in qualifying, and put Bottas first and Hamilton behind on the starting grid. An angry Verstappen, who was hurt by Tsunoda and his teammate Sergio Pérez, on the last lap of Q3, started third. But in Mexico they face 1.3 kilometers of straight until the first corner, and the slip-ups are very important. And the slipstream was given to Verstappen … Bottas, who came out worse than the bosses of Mercedes and Red Bull, and who not only lost the position, but, as we have already said, benefited Verstappen, who became leader in the first curve. But it is that, in addition, in said first corner Ricciardo (McLaren) hit Bottas from behind, who spun,
Therefore, despite the great classification of Mercedes, life remained the same: Hamilton, second, was condemned again to see how tenth by tenth, his great rival escaped escaped … without being able to do anything. Race after race, the great handicap of the seven-time world champion is confirmed when he faces a rival who is at least as fast as he is. In the last seven seasons, only his teammate Nico Rosberg in 2017 was a rival to the height of Hamilton. And the British lost that World Cup. Bottas has never been even half a rival for the British, and now, in 2021, when the Mercedes man promised them very happy to occupy the Olympus of Formula 1 by himself by surpassing the seven of Michael Schumacher with eight titles … another rival has been found at his height, and he loses again (for now).
So the race was for Verstappen as most of the last seven years have been for Hamilton: a solo ride in which his only rival was himself. In the middle of the race, the only thing that was clear was that the emotion was going to be in the fight … for second place. Because Hamilton was not clear about the runner-up in the Mexican GP until the last step to the finish line, persecuted, harassed, besieged by Sergio ‘Checo’ Pérez. Because the Mexican not only ran at home, in front of the fans without a doubt the most aroused in the entire World Cup, but he could also do an immense favor to his leader, Verstappen, if he managed to surpass the British. And although the little hand tried, getting very close to Hamilton in the last laps after a successful tire change tactic, it could not be.
But Verstappen may not care much, who can be very calm because, if nothing strange happens (remember that incident with Hamilton at Silverstone, which ended the Netherlands out of the race, and with the British sanctioned with a pathetic ten seconds that did not prevent him from winning that race and subtracting 25 points from Red Bull), he has the World Cup in his pocket. And not only because he deserves it, because he is showing that he is the best driver on the grid, but because at Mercedes despair grows every Grand Prix. In fact, in Mexico, the German team had to make use of Valtteri Bottas at the end of the race so that he would enter up to twice to put on soft tires to take the fastest lap, and thus be able to subtract a point from Verstappen. Pathetic.
With four races ahead (Brazil next week, Qatar the following, Saudi Arabia on December 5 and Abu Dhabi on the 12th of the last month of the year), Max Verstappen is 19 points ahead of Lewis Hamilton (312.5 per 293.5) which, as we have already said, does not allow him to relax for a second, but it is an advantage that even falls short of the merits of both at this point in the championship.
Sainz, good; Alonso, constant
Regarding the Spanish, Carlos Sainz, who made a great classification on Saturday, starting sixth on the grid, was harmed by the Bottas incident, whom he had to dodge in the middle of the track, including excursion through the grass, which It made him lose a position that, throughout the race, he managed to regain, to finish precisely in sixth position, only one behind his Ferrari teammate, Charles Leclerc, from whom he is now separated by seven and a half points in the standings ( 138 by 130.5) in the fight between Monegasque and Spanish to be the ‘champion of the Cavallino’ this season.
And Fernando Alonso, after a horrible qualifying on Saturday, in which he did not even make it to Q2, started from thirteenth on the grid and, once again, in a ‘diesel’ race, always constant, always reliable, always efficient. , managed to finish in the tenth points, with which he takes one more point of difference to his teammate in Alpine, Esteban Ocón, whom he leads by 14 points (60 by 46), in the fight for tenth position in the World Cup (and that the Frenchman won, thanks to Fernando, the race in Hungary).