Max Verstappen v Lewis Hamilton: Maximum effort warrants a changing of the F1 guard, says W Series driver Sarah Moore
Verstappen – looking to win his first F1 Drivers’ Championship – is sitting top of the standings based on his number of grand prix wins but when it comes to points won, the Dutchman and seven-time champion Hamilton have amassed 369.5 each after a remarkable year.
The only way race wins will decide the championship is if both contenders finish outside the points or if they don’t finish the race at all. Hamilton will enter the final Grand Prix of the season with the momentum, having won the last three meetings in Brazil, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
Victory for Hamilton would represent the hardest-fought triumph of his career, believes Harrogate racer Sarah Moore, who took part in a number of Formula 1 weekends in 2021 with the W Series
Mercedes driver Hamilton has been crowned world champion a record-equalling seven times. Only Michael Schumacher has won the drivers’ championship on as many occasions.
The German won the title five years in a row, something Hamilton can also do this weekend after having a firm grip on the crown since 2017.
The drivers’ title has belonged to a Brit or a German since 2008, when Hamilton won his first world title.
Along with Hamilton: Jenson Button, Sebastian Vettel and Nico Rosberg have been the men to become world champions since then – four times in Vettel’s case – but Verstappen could break the German and British duopoly on the title this weekend.
He knows that all he needs to do is better Hamilton’s result, and Moore feels it would be refreshing to see a new face lift the trophy this weekend.
“I am not going to be happy if Lewis doesn’t win but I am all for change, I would love to see Max win,” she said.
“He has drove really, really hard and come on leaps and bounds as a driver.
“The way he has taken it to Lewis this year, it has been absolutely amazing to watch.
“On the other hand, if Lewis wins it this year it is the hardest championship he has had to fight for out of all the ones he has won before, in my opinion.
“If he wins it this year, then he really deserves it because he has worked for it.
“Personally, I would love to see Max win.”
Hamilton and Verstappen’s battle has been as fierce as it has been enthralling.
The Dutchman crashed out of the British Grand Prix after a collision with Hamilton while both drivers had to retire from the Italian Grand Prix after a crash.
Last weekend in Saudi Arabia, Verstappen was hit with a 10-second penalty after he was judged to be at fault for a collision between him and Hamilton.
“It has been a bit scrappy and there have been times when people will say both drivers have had moments where they have been over the top,” said Moore.
“But it is two drivers who couldn’t possibly want this championship more. What happened at the weekend in Saudi Arabia, that is racing in my opinion. You are always going to get those kinds of things when you have got two drivers who are battling so hard for a championship.”
Moore was alongside the F1 action a number of times this season with the W Series. The competition was staged alongside a handful of F1 contests at different phases of the campaign, including at Silverstone and Circuit of the Americas.
Moore ended the season fifth in the W Series standings and reflected: “It has been absolutely amazing. This year has been my favourite year of racing to date.
“I have come on so much as a driver since joining the W Series; 2019 was tough for me but I took everything I learnt from that to improve myself.
“Maybe having the little bit of extra time through Covid helped me. I was a totally different driver this year to 2019.”