Brundle Names “Critical” Element Which Could Be F1 Title Decider for Hamilton Against Verstappen

Published 05/11/2021, 7:44 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Portuguese Grand Prix – Algarve International Circuit – Portimao, Portugal – May 2, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton shakes hands with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen after winning the race Pool via REUTERS/Gabriel Bouys


Lewis Hamilton has started the 2021 season with a bang. After winning three of the first four races, he now has 94 points to his name, his best-ever start to an F1 season. However, this is not the best news for his title rival, Max Verstappen.

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The Dutchman sits on 80 points, fourteen adrift from the Briton. More importantly, the Spanish GP proved that Red Bull are not ahead of Mercedes; on the contrary, in fact, they are behind not just in terms of race pace, but also in the driver department.

Formula One F1 – Spanish Grand Prix, Barcelona, Spain – May 9, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen leads Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton. REUTERS/Albert Gea

While Max matches Hamilton, his teammate, Sergio Perez hasn’t been up to the mark. Valtteri Bottas, fortunately, has at least been able to stay in the mix these past few races. F1 Pundit, Martin Brundle, believes that could be the critical factor in this title race.

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“Red Bull urgently need more power and grip for Max, and for Perez to join the battle. Right now, it appears Bottas is more likely to take points from Verstappen on occasions than Perez is from Hamilton, and that could be critical,” Brundle wrote in his Sky Sports F1 column.

Red Bull’s preference of Verstappen might be causing Perez’s struggles: Brundle

Ever since Daniel Ricciardo left at the end of the 2018 season, no teammate has been able to match up to Max. Although the Dutchman possesses a once-in-a-lifetime talent, his teammates could be faltering because of another crucial factor, according to Brundle.

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“It does appear that the Red Bull is highly tuned to Verstappen‘s preferences, driving style and formidable car control because Pierre Gasly, Alex Albon and now Perez have all relatively floundered.”

Formula One F1 – Emilia Romagna Grand Prix – Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola, Italy – April 17, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen who qualified in P3 with Red Bull’s Sergio Perez who qualified in P2 REUTERS/Bryn Lennon Pool via REUTERS/Bryn Lennon

However, Perez has no choice but to make the best out of the circumstances, “Sergio’s head may be wiser and more experienced, but he’ll need to lean on every single element of that now to play his essential role and not crumble.”

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DIVE DEEPER

WATCH: Sergio Perez Asks Race Engineer About Verstappen’s Setting Before Sliding Off in Imola

5 months ago

It remains to be seen if the Mexican can start competing at the front end of the grid more often or not. The management brought him to the team for that specific reason. Otherwise, they could see their title challenge falling apart.

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Bharat Aggarwal

757 articles

Bharat Aggarwal is a sports analyst for EssentiallySports, covering Formula 1 and NBA. A Delhi University graduate, Bharat has multi-year experience in sports writing, having closely worked with the content strategy aspect as well. Bharat Aggarwal supports Manchester United, Lewis Hamilton, Cristiano Ronaldo, Rafael Nadal, Dirk Nowitzki, Sachin Tendulkar, Ayrton Senna, Kristaps Porzingis, and Dallas Mavericks.

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