Max Verstappen vs Charles Leclerc vs Lando Norris vs George Russell – Bold Predictions for F1’s Future

Published 09/08/2021, 5:53 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Dutch Grand Prix – Circuit Zandvoort, Zandvoort, Netherlands – September 5, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen celebrates after winning the race Pool via REUTERS/Francisco Seco

F1 is steadily inching towards the end of an era, with Kimi Raikkonen, the latest driver to announce his retirement. Now, all that remains are Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel, and Fernando Alonso, the only drivers to have competed in the 2000s.


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Of course, it is quite painful to watch such legendary drivers finally starting to bid adieu to F1 after the massive stints. However, there is a brighter perspective to this saddening transition. Considering the next-gen drivers who have shown up as their successors, it certainly feels like the sport is in safe hands.

Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP and Fernando Alonso of Spain and McLaren F1 talk in the Drivers Press Conference during previews ahead of the United States Formula One Grand Prix at Circuit of The Americas in Austin, United States. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

Four of the drivers who could well be the future stars of F1 are Max Verstappen, Lando Norris, Charles Leclerc, and George Russell. Four drivers driving for four different legendary outfits; Ferrari, Red Bull, Williams, and McLaren. Hence, here’s our prediction for their respective F1 future.


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Lando Norris (McLaren F1 team)

The Briton joined F1 at the age of 19. Hence, despite the fact that he has crossed 50 starts already, he is still only 21 years old, with over a decade of racing left in hand. Also, Norris has built an impeccable relationship with McLaren, which will always be hailed as a famed outfit in the sport.

Formula One F1 – Monaco Grand Prix – Circuit de Monaco, Monte Carlo, Monaco – May 23, 2021 McLaren’s Lando Norris celebrates finishing third place after the match Pool via REUTERS/Sebastien Nogier

Hence, too many positives to look at. Not to forget, the Briton has proven to be a stronger teammate than Grand Prix winner, Daniel Ricciardo. Amidst such positives including the strong McLaren and Mercedes backing, all Norris needs is a pacy car.

Unfortunately, 2022 might not be the year. Red Bull and Mercedes are likely to remain the favorites, going into next season. However, it is about the successive years, where McLaren could potentially ramp up their performance and offer Norris a chance to compete for podiums and wins.

Max Verstappen (Red Bull Racing)

Like Norris, Verstappen isn’t going anywhere. The Dutchman is most probably going to stick with Red Bull at least until the end of 2024.

Looking at 2021, Verstappen is already in the title race against the 7-time world champion, Lewis Hamilton. And what’s interesting is that he is leading the fight at the moment. Hence, one can only imagine the confidence that could pump out of defeating one of the greatest of all time.

Formula One F1 – Austrian Grand Prix – Red Bull Ring, Spielberg, Styria, Austria – July 4, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen celebrates winning the race REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger

And if Verstappen does manage to win the title this season, the Dutchman will remain the favorite over the subsequent years as well. Subsequently, following Hamilton’s retirement, Verstappen could be the next heir to the throne.

George Russell (Mercedes F1)

Russell has finally landed the dream seat at Mercedes for the upcoming F1 season and will get to race alongside Hamilton. The present Williams driver has produced enough on-track success to prove that he is a worthy enough driver to compete in a top-field team like Mercedes.

And now that he has acquired the Mercedes seat, the next couple of years will be highly crucial for Russell. Why you might ask?

Formula One F1 – Belgian Grand Prix – Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium – August 28, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen celebrates qualifying in pole position with Williams’ George Russell as he qualifies second Pool via REUTERS/John Thys

Well, Hamilton is arriving at the business end of his career and hardly has a year or two in his pocket. Hence, Russell will have the huge task of being able to fill the void in the team potentially left behind by Hamilton.

Of course, it will be difficult for Russell to enforce the level of impact the 7-time world champion has made in the team. Hence, the 21-year-old will need to up his game, because if Russell does fail to reach Mercedes’ ambitions post-Hamilton retirement, the team could well fall apart and title hopes could start to feel a bit distant.

Charles Leclerc (Ferrari)

Well, a seat at Ferrari as a number 1 driver and 2 wins under his sleeves already. This is certainly a strong start for Leclerc to his Ferrari campaign amidst massive struggles. Hence, since the 2020 downfall, the Maranello outfit have remained motivated to make a comeback in 2022 by sacrificing 2021 developments.

Formula One F1 – Azerbaijan Grand Prix – Baku City Circuit, Baku, Azerbaijan – Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc after qualifying in pole position Pool via REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

Interestingly, despite assumptions that 2021 could be another struggle-induced season, Ferrari have shown a blistering pace against their mid-field rivals. Hence, there are chances that Ferrari could pull themselves up to the top-field next season, with regulations set to bunch up the grid.


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If that’s the case, Leclerc, with the form he is in at the moment, will be able to challenge Verstappen, Hamilton, and possibly even Russell for the title. Hence, the Monegasque is one of the few drivers to watch out for over the upcoming years.


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Overall, the foundation looks perfect for all 4 drivers to excel in F1. But, amid the impending regulation changes, which of the 4 will lay their dominion in the sport?

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Rohit Kumar

1150 articles

Rohit Kumar is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. He has been an ardent follower of the racing series since 2007, with his love for the sport coinciding with his love for Kimi Raikkonen. He is also an ardent follower of Sebastian Vettel and Aston Martin Racing.