Popular F1 Director Explains Why Lewis Hamilton-Red Bull Make the Best Package of 2021

Published 11/02/2021, 9:48 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – United States Grand Prix – Circuit of the Americas, Austin, Texas, U.S. – October 24, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton, 2nd position and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, 1st position during a press conference after the United States Grand Prix FIA/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS – THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES


We’re in the endgame now! As the 2021 F1 season comes to a close, the championship is beautifully poised. There is no clear favorite between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton for the driver’s championship. The Dutch driver leads the 7-time world champion by 12 points with five races to go.

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With the season on the knife’s edge every single race, it is becoming ever so difficult to pick a favorite between Lewis and Max. But former F1 engineer Rob Smedley picks Hamilton as his favorite. Smedley, who was the race engineer of Felipe Massa, mentioned that the Red Bull have a better car but Hamilton is the better driver.

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Red Bull have failed to capitalize on their car: Rob Smedley

Rob Smedley was the guest at the F1 Nation Podcast in the Mexican GP Preview edition. He mentioned that despite Mercedes‘ recent resurgence, Red Bull have a better car.

“If I was going to go for a car, I would for Red Bull almost certainly. I think it’s a slightly better car, and it has been the better car all season. I read something over the weekend where Helmut Marko had said that Max has given away 50 points or something like that.”

Formula One F1 – United States Grand Prix – Circuit of the Americas, Austin, Texas, U.S. – October 24, 2021, Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton in action at the start of the race REUTERS/Mike Blake

“I don’t know if that’s true, but if you take the races where he hadn’t finished, it might not be a net 50 points compared to Lewis. But it certainly quite a few points that he has given away. So I think that they have had the best car and significantly better car since the beginning of the season and it’s fair to say that they have failed to capitalize on that,” he continued.

“But as the season has gone on, they have still kept that small advantage. You know it’s swung Mercedes’s way occasionally but overall still had the best car,” said the former race engineer of Massa.

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Former F1 engineer backs Lewis Hamilton over Verstappen

But when it came to choosing between the drivers, Rob went with Lewis Hamilton. He mentioned that if they both were in identical cars till the end of the season, the Mercedes driver would prevail.

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Formula One F1 – United States Grand Prix – Circuit of the Americas, Austin, Texas, U.S. – October 24, 2021, Red Bull’s Max Verstappen celebrates on the podium after winning the race with second place Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton REUTERS/Brian Snyder TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

“I’ve got to go with Lewis because he has done it seven times before. Now that’s not to take anything away from Max because Max is a once-in-a-generation talent. But I think Lewis has learned more of his craft than Max. He’s been doing it longer than Max.”

“If they’re in identical cars with remaining races, I will back Lewis at this time,” concluded Smedley when asked to choose between the drivers.

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We understand the dilemma of Smedley as he split his votes. It is so close between both teams and both drivers that there is no clear favorite between them.

What would your ideal Car-Driver pairing be between the four? Let us know.

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Devang Chauhan

584 articles

Devang Chauhan is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Having completed his graduation in Journalism and Mass Communication, he has a keen eye for writing engaging and detailed articles on F1. Previously a writer for Sports Social's 'Chase Your Sport' Magazine, Devang has been an ardent follower of the sport for over a decade and has attended two editions of the Indian Grand Prix.

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