Odds Are Against Hamilton
Verstappen’s triumph marked his 15th Grand Prix win of the year, equalling his own record set last year. This achievement came as he pursued Formula 1 history following his recent third consecutive world championship title. Despite starting in sixth place due to an error during qualifying, Verstappen displayed remarkable skill and determination. By securing his 50th Grand Prix victory, Verstappen joins an exclusive group of esteemed drivers.
✅ 50th career win in F1
✅ 15th win this season
✅ 5th straight win in the U.S.
Max Verstappen 👏 pic.twitter.com/DiMHyXpGX2
— ESPN (@espn) October 22, 2023
Only Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel, Alain Prost, and Michael Schumacher have attained the prestige of winning at least 50 races.
However, with the championship in the bag, Verstappen is chasing nothing more than bragging rights, records, and the chance to rewrite history. This leaves F1 news no choice but to focus on the second-place battle, as Britain’s Hamilton and Verstappen’s Red Bull teammate, Sergio Perez, have just four races remaining to achieve this triumph.
But with a 39-point differential between the Mexican and the Englishman, can F1’s superstar close a gap that looks larger than Victor Wembanyama’s arm span?
— FirstSportz F1 (@FirstsportzF1) October 15, 2023
Verstappen is Key
If Verstappen said, “F*ck it, my championship is won; I’m taking a vacation” I’d wholeheartedly give Hamilton a great chance of capturing P2. But to keep it brutally honest, the Mexican, Brazilian, Las Vegas, and Abu Dhabi Grand Prix that remain have one huge roadblock stopping the Brit, and it’s not Perez; it’s the man who’s won 83.33% of the F1 schedule in 2023.
It wouldn’t be surprising to see Verstappen win all of the remaining races, and the 25-point gain for a first-position finish will be critical in Hamilton’s P2 chase. He’d also need Perez to pick up at least one or two DNFs, and it’s a difficult outcome to expect despite the Mexican’s downtrend in form of late.
All three of Max Verstappen’s overtakes into turn 12 on Lando, Leclerc, and Sainz
Incredible car control from Max to pull these off while dealing with a brake issue, especially the surprise late move on Norris 🔥 pic.twitter.com/NNIeReQaf5
— Dan’s DRS Zone (@F1GuyDan) October 23, 2023
Naturally, F1 rumors are jumping all over the clickbait of Hamilton’s potential to finish P2 in the Drivers’ Championship, specifically because he was chasing down Verstappen at the United States Grand Prix on Sunday.
However, Hamilton loves to perform in America, especially in Texas, where he’s never finished below fourth in twelve appearances, winning an impressive six US Grand Prix in Texas since 2007. But now, he’ll need to overcome Verstappen in Mexico and hope Perez fails to finish in front of the latter’s country of birth… good luck!
Ye Have Little Faith
I understand there are another three races outside the Mexican GP, but the optimistic bunch seems to forget that Hamilton hasn’t won a race this year! He’s claimed just five podiums, and honestly, the Red Bull car is a cheat code.
I can see it now; headlines at the end of the season will read, “Disqualification for Hamilton in the US Grand Prix Cost him P2 in the F1 Standings.”
Lewis Hamilton fans went to bed thinking he got P2 at the Texas Grand Prix last night, only to wake up to news stating he’s been disqualified and loses his podium position pic.twitter.com/Pd2tfMOwxH
— 𝑾𝒊𝒍𝒄𝒐🧣 (@WilcoFtbl) October 23, 2023
Hamilton’s disqualification in Austin shifted the momentum back to Perez, which you’ll have to deal with. Despite my disappointment with Perez’s performance, he will likely secure second place. It is highly unusual for one team to dominate the entire season and for their second driver not to be in second place in the championship. Not forgetting, Verstappen, McLaren, and Ferrari will hinder Hamilton’s point accumulation.
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