The 2021 Formula 1 season is hardly in its infancy. The world’s top drivers have been battling out it out since March this year and we have already seen spectacular crashes (Vettel - France), pole positions won and lost, and podium places claimed.
It may seem a little like we are almost cheating coming forward this late in the game with our predictions as to how it is all going to pan out. There is still some way to go before the final race in Abu Dhabi in December. The current standings still show that this year’s season is open with no runaway winner, so who’s going to be celebrating in 6 months’ time?
A two-horse race?
Before the first race back in March, many would have seen the 2021 Formula 1 season as a battle between 2 drivers. In fact, it was billed by some as the battle of the generations. On one hand, you had the upcoming star Verstappen and on the other, the now veteran, Hamilton. Both with something to prove, there is no surprise that this battle remains so close. In the words of former F1 driver Eddie Irvine, who spoke with Betway earlier this month: “Verstappen is definitely the fastest driver out there at the minute, but you have to say that Lewis Hamilton is still the top driver.”
Six seasons in, Verstappen is no longer a newcomer, but he has a long way to go before he can match the experience of Hamilton.
The current standings
Looking at where we are right now, it may be too soon to say that the season is between Hamilton and Verstappen alone. With a 12-point gap between them, there is still the likes of Perez and Norris in hot pursuit. As Verstappen’s number 2, Perez has proven that he is a quality driver in his own right. Driver politics may dictate how his season ends if it is down to a head-to-head against his teammate, but he is clearly capable of giving Verstappen and Hamilton a run for their money.
Despite promise from Perez, Irvine still sees this season as being about just two drivers, saying “Verstappen is probably the ultimate talent, although Lewis is a consummate professional and has very few weak spots.”
An outside chance
What makes the world of F1 so exciting is the sheer range of talent. The exceptional skills of Hamilton and Verstappen are highlighted even more when you look at some of the big names competing, but hardly in the running. How many sports would you ever have talent as big as Alonso, Vettel, and Ricciardo merely classed as also-rans? These drivers are exceptionally skilled and experienced but cannot get anywhere near the top 2.
In any other sport, you would look at these competitors and recognise that their skill gives them that chance of upsetting the odds and pulling off a surprise. In the 2021 Formula 1 season though, that is not something that is going to happen. Leaving the final words to Irvine, it appears clear who will be running away with the title: “Anyone who goes against Verstappen is going to get beaten because of his pure speed.”