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Formula 1: That’s why Verstappen will also drive against Vettel in 2021

Everyone is talking about the mega duel Max Verstappen (24, Red Bull) against defending champion Lewis Hamilton (36, Mercedes). Five races before the end of the World Cup, the Dutch Red Bull driver is twelve points ahead of the seven-time world champion.
For experts like ex-world champion Damon Hill, Verstappen is the favorite after his terrific performance in the Austin race. “He has two fingers on the trophy,” believes the Briton, “also because there are now two races in Mexico and Sao Paulo in which Mercedes could have problems due to the altitude.”

Max Verstappen has so far led 504 laps in the 2021 Formula 1 season.

Interesting: For Verstappen, who is considered a “child prodigy”, it would be the first major title in motorsport ever. Before entering Formula 1, Hamilton won titles in Formula Renault, Formula 3 and GP2. In the premier class he was involved in a world championship fight ten times. He emerged as the winner seven times. Only in his debut season 2007 (second behind Raikkonen), 2010 (fourth, world champion Vettel) and 2016 (second behind Rosberg) did he lose out.

Experience Formula 1 with the SKY Supersport Ticket

Verstappen, on the other hand, has never fought for the World Cup and has never won a title in any junior series. In his only year in formula racing, 2014, he finished third in the Formula 3 Euro Series as a rookie. Master then: Esteban Ocon. Before Formula 3, he had only contested a few races in the Florida winter series. Then it went straight to Formula 1.

So Hill believes “Max is now finding it difficult to keep calm. He can already see a bit of light at the end of the tunnel. That little light that tells you, ‘You can become a world champion.’ Gosh, stay cool there! It can go and spin so fast. It is also the case now that he has a lot more to lose. “

One thing is certain: Verstappen is not only fighting for the World Cup, but – even if he is less interested – for the ranking of the most leading laps in a season. There he is already in 17th place in the table with 504 laps in the front five races to go. If everything runs normally, another 200 laps can easily be added. That would put him in second place. Explosive: He would then be behind Sebastian Vettel, who led 739 laps in 2011. If things go optimally for the Dutchman, he could even replace Vettel.

Formula 1 in the overview at SKY Q

According to Red Bull Motorsport Director Helmut Marko (78), the table is meaningful, “because it shows who was dominant in the respective year.” Lewis Hamilton, for example, was the driver with the most laps in the lead five times, as was Michael Schumacher. It is interesting who does not appear in the table in the top 18: Alain Prost – although the French won the title in 1985, 1986, 1989 and 1993. This is one of the reasons why the “professor” is considered a master of efficiency.

Sebastian Vettel leads the 2011 Brazilian GP.

But: the statistics are not exactly accurate. Because leading laps are one thing, what percentage of possible laps a driver drove in the front, the other. The legendary Scot Jim Clark is clearly number one. In 1963, he was at the top 71.47 percent of the laps. For comparison: Vettel brought it “only” to 65.23 percent in 2011, Verstappen is currently at 50.91.

Leadership laps in one season

1. Sebastian Vettel 2011: 739 of 1133 possible, 65.23%
2. Nigel Mansell 1992: 694/1036, 66.99%
3. Sebastian Vettel 2013: 684/1131, 60.48%
4. Michael Schumacher 2004: 683/1122, 60.87
5. Michael Schumacher 1994: 646/1046, 61.76%
6. Lewis Hamilton 2020: 613/1037, 59.11%
7. Lewis Hamilton 2015: 587/1149, 51.09%
8. Mika Häkkinen 1998: 576/1015, 56.75%
9. Lewis Hamilton 2016: 566/1268, 44.64%
10. Michael Schumacher 2002: 558/1090, 51.19%
11. Ayrton Senna 1988: 553/1031, 53.64%
12. Michael Schumacher 2000: 548/1074, 51.02%
13. Michael Schumacher 2001: 533/1065, 50.05%
14.Lewis Hamilton 2017: 527/1196, 44.06%
15.Lewis Hamilton 2019: 511/1262, 40.49%
16. Jim Clark 1963: 506/708, 71.47%
17. Max Verstappen 2021: 504/990, 50.91%
18. Ayrton Senna 1990: 500/1052, 47.53

Formula 1 on TV

Formula 1 will run at Sky in 2021. The station is setting up its own TV station for the new era: Sky Formula 1. Here there is motorsport 24 hours a day. All training sessions, all qualifying sessions, all races always live and without commercial breaks. Sky also broadcasts the Formula 2, Formula 3 and Porsche Supercup races. The program also includes historical races and special programs. You can find more information here

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