Damon Hill has given his verdict for the 2021 championship, saying it looks like Max Verstappen is within touching distance of victory.
The Red Bull driver leads seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton by 12 points. With five races to go and two tracks favouring Red Bull, time is ticking away for Hamilton to overturn to deficit.
While a 12-point lead is hardly a safe one, the fact remains that Verstappen is the favourite to take top honours. Hill gave his verdict for the 2021 championship, and said that he cannot look past the Dutchman at this point.
“I think Max will feel like he’s got two fingers on the trophy,” he said on the F1 Nation podcast.
“It’s not a one-handed grip or a two-hand grip yet, but it’s definitely two fingers and I think he’ll know that, and I think there will be a little bit more of a releasing of pressure for him going into the next few races.”
The title rivalry has been absolutely superb to watch. Verstappen and Hamilton have traded the lead many times over the course of this season. Such a hot potato title race hasn’t happened for a long time.
Hill revealed that he hasn’t seen such a battle since the 1980s, when Nigel Mansell and Nelson Piquet duked it out to become top dog.
“I’m trying to rack my brains to think when I’ve seen a title lead in a championship change as many times as this,” the former world champion continued.
“It’s a real switchback, and I’m thinking maybe it was Piquet and Mansell or something like that. I can’t remember. How long do you (have to) go back?”
With everything on the line, Verstappen and Hamilton will look to do their best every weekend. Mexico, Brazil, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE remain, and the battle will go down to the wire.