Lewis Hamilton won the first ever Formula 1 race in Qatar. Title rival Max Verstappen managed to limit the damage and crossed the line in second on the Losail International Circuit. Former F1 driver Mika Hakkinen looks ahead Unibet back to last Sunday’s race.
The Finn thinks Hamiton now has the best tickets for the world championship. “If Formula 1 were a tennis match, I would say it was Hamilton’s advantage after his dominant victories in Brazil and Qatar.”
“Although Verstappen leads the world championship by eight points, Mercedes has responded by giving Hamilton a car with which he can really compete to defend his title,” said the two-time Formula 1 world champion.
Verstappen and Hamilton of a different caliber
Verstappen had to come from seventh place due to a grid penalty for ignoring double yellow flags in qualifying. The Finn saw the Dutchman quickly come through the field and believes that Verstappen and Hamilton were head and shoulders above the rest in Qatar.
“Like Lewis did in Brazil, Max recovered quickly in the race and moved up to fourth on lap one. The title rivals were on a different level and left the competition far behind.”
Hakkinen found the Mercedes driver to drive flawlessly. “This was really a controlled performance by Lewis. He covered every attempt by Red Bull to put pressure on his strategy,” said the Finn.
Verstappen world champion in Saudi Arabia?
Despite Hamilton having won the last two Grands Prix, there is a theoretical chance that Verstappen will become world champion in Saudi Arabia. Hakkinen acknowledges this, but puts his money on Hamilton for the next race.
“Max could win the world championship in Jeddah if Lewis has a bad result. But a lot of straight-line speed seems important on that track. Because of that, and the fact that Mercedes plans to fit Brazil’s engine in Hamilton’s car, the defending champion will chasing nothing less than a victory.”
Verstappen must hope for a miracle from Red Bull and Honda
Although Max Verstappen is heading for the last two races as leader in the Formula 1 championship, the Dutchman will have to hope for a small miracle from Red Bull and Honda.