Connect with us


F1 Q&A: How close will drivers’ championship be this season?

With all the different winners so far this year, how close will the drivers’ championship be? – Sammy Smith

This year’s F1 championship is definitely in a very different place after 12 races than it was after five.

After the Chinese Grand Prix, Max Verstappen and Red Bull looked set for a repeat of 2023, when they had the most dominant season in F1 history.

Since Miami, Red Bull have been facing a consistent challenge from McLaren, it appears as if Mercedes are about to make it a three, and there have been six different winners in 12 races so far this year.

That suggests the second half of the season, which starts in Hungary on 19 July, will be extremely competitive and that each individual race could have a number of potential winners.

However, through this period of increased competition, Verstappen has extended his championship lead substantially.

After China, he led Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc by 34 points and Lando Norris by 52 points.

Norris has since moved up into second in the championship but he is now 84 points behind Verstappen, and Leclerc – who has had a very difficult four races with Ferrari since his win in Monaco – is 105 adrift.

McLaren could arguably have won in Canada, Spain, Austria and Silverstone. But they won none of them, because Norris and his team are making too many small mistakes, whereas Red Bull and Verstappen continue to operate with intimidating consistency.

There is a reason why pretty much everyone in F1 right now thinks Verstappen is the best driver in the world.

He could easily have won none of the races since China. Instead, he has won half of them. And when he does not win, he continues to score big points.

If – and it is a big if – McLaren and Mercedes can start to beat Verstappen consistently with both cars, they can start to take some big points off Verstappen.

But even if they did that at every race – which on current form looks unlikely – overcoming the sort of gaps Norris and Leclerc have to Verstappen would be extremely difficult.

That is why Verstappen remains an overwhelming favourite to win the title, even if he may not start any of the remaining races with that status.

Bear in mind, too, that while Red Bull’s new floor did not appear to work that effectively in Silverstone, it was only its first race. And they are believed to have more upgrades to come in Hungary.

Red Bull are going through a sticky patch – by their recent standards – but they remain a formidable force.

Source link

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *