F1 Analyst Has a Grim Prediction for Max Verstappen Amid Lewis Hamilton’s Epic Form

Published 05/04/2021, 3:05 PM EDT
Formula One F1 – Belgian Grand Prix – Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium – August 30, 2020 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen after finishing third in the race with Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton who won the race | Courtesy: Pool via REUTERS/Stephanie Lecocq


Max Verstappen has begun his 2021 F1 title challenge against Lewis Hamilton with mixed success. While there have been some brilliant drives from his side, he’s made a few errors, especially those pertaining to track limits, that have costed him dearly. That sees him trailing Hamilton by 8 points as they head to Barcelona this weekend. But if Lewis was to further extend his title lead, what effect could it have on the Dutchman?

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Not a positive one, according to F1 Nation Podcast host, Tom Clarkson. He said, “I worry that the gap is currently 8 points and if Hamilton just eches out a bit more of a gap, Max might start trying to force it, and then we might see him making a few more errors.”

Formula One F1 – Portuguese Grand Prix – Algarve International Circuit – Portimao, Portugal – May 2, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen reacts after finishing second in the race Pool via REUTERS/Gabriel Bouys

The Red Bull driver also made a mistake while Hamilton was chasing him in Portimao. This tiny slip allowed the Briton to overtake him. According to Clarkson – “He just needs to stop making these tiny, little errors if he’s gonna beat Lewis Hamilton.”

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His fellow F1 Pundit, Lawrence Barretto, also believes that an increasing deficit will have a detrimental impact on Verstappen’s driving. We have all seen that happen to Sebastian Vettel in the past few seasons, as well.

“If Lewis runs away with it, as he has done many years, then that is gonna crack Max’s confidence,” said Barretto.

On what has changed with Max Verstappen this season

Overall, Verstappen‘s adopted a more cautious approach, forgoing much of his high-risk race strategies and driving. In a title race that could go down to the wire, he knows that every point counts.

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“He’s had to change his mindset completely this year and try and brace for the championship. And sometimes that means that he’s got to settle for second place. I think that’s what has changed with him this year,” Lawrence Barretto noted on ‘F1 Nation’ Podcast.

Formula One F1 – Portuguese Grand Prix – Algarve International Circuit – Portimao, Portugal – May 2, 2021 Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas, Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton in action during the race REUTERS/Marcelo Del Pozo

Let’s hope that the Dutchman doesn’t crack under pressure. The impetus is also on Red Bull to provide him regular upgrades throughout the season to match Mercedes. Maybe then he won’t have to overdrive his car.

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Portuguese GP: Max Verstappen Hits Back at Rosberg Over Lewis Hamilton Comments

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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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