After the Singapore Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton has extended his lead in the championship. The gap between himself and Sebastian Vettel is now 40 points with 6 races to go. While it is possible to catch Lewis, on mathematical grounds, one has to consider form. But, at least 10 times in F1’s nearly 70-year history, a driver has managed to overhaul a huge points margin to win the title.
James Hunt did it back in 1976 when he was 82 points behind Niki Lauda. Kimi Raikkonen was 65 points behind Lewis Hamilton in 2007 when he took his one and only title. In 1964, John Surtees was 56 points behind Jim Clark when he took the title. Even the late great Ayrton Senna was 50 points behind Alain Prost in 1988. In 1981, Nelson Piquet was 47 point behind Carlos Reutemann. Like this, there are many other examples that can prove the point.
On an interesting note, Out of those 10 occasions, this has only occurred six times in the final 6 races.
However, on the flip side of the coin, one has to consider how things changed after Spa. Vettel took the win in Belgium, ahead of Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen. But then, Monza came and Ferrari and Vettel seemingly lost the plot.
As if a Mercedes win in Ferrari’s backyard wasn’t bad enough, things got worse in Singapore. Everyone expected Ferrari to be faster than Mercedes there. But then the unthinkable happened, Lewis snatched pole and romped to an easy win. The Mercedes car was clearly faster than Ferrari.
Even Fernando Alonso in the 2018 Ferrari would have found Lewis too much to handle, as claimed by a prominent motorsports journalist. Both Hamilton and Mercedes were unstoppable. Many had predicted that the best they could manage was 5th and 6th and struggle for a podium.
Although Mercedes has been strong, Hamilton is not particularly invulnerable either. Austria proved that even the Briton could drop the ball.
One thing is for sure, Vettel will have to dig deep to beat Hamilton. On the other hand, Lewis Hamilton will need to keep a cool head and rack up the points. Who will win the 2018 title? sound off in the comments.