For the first time since the 2016 season, Lewis Hamilton he finds himself today facing a direct competitor for the conquest of the world title; after four seasons of absolute domination, the Briton, six races from the end of the world championship, is dealing with the threat of Red Bull of Max Verstappen, the latter jumped to the top of the drivers’ standings in the last round in Turkey, outclassing Hamilton himself. A battle, the one between the two riders, characterized by a competitive tension several times resulted in contacts and wheel-to-wheel challenges that have drastically raised the level of pressure, which persists even and above all now in this delicate final phase of the championship.
The leadership of the Mercedes driver is therefore seriously questioned by the young Dutchman, such as to arouse in the seven-time world champion a need for defense which, in the course of 2021, also led to the realization of numerous and small errors. More than due to the contacts and major accidents that occurred with Verstappen, the reigning champion was the author of mistakes and mistakes that did not lead to any consequences, but which underline the tension that Hamilton is experiencing in this particular period. Facts that have not gone unnoticed by a former driver like David Coulthard, who in an interview with Channel 4 highlighted these unprecedented and repeated imperfections by the British: “He was the author of one considerable amount of smudges – the Scotsman emphasized – even if he has always managed to get out of it well. For example, at Imola he went off the track in the duel with Verstappen, but he also touched the barriers in other episodes, or he went into a spin, and more recently he even touched the protective wall in the pit lane in Russia, slightly damaging the car during Qualifying “.
“All of this is remarkable, especially because you don’t often see him making these kinds of mistakes – concluded Coulthard – but all of these just show that he is under pressure“. Another aspect to underline, as had already been highlighted by other former drivers, also concerns the future of the British in Formula 1 and, in particular, in Mercedes. In 2022, in fact, he will welcome the young and emerging teammate as a new teammate George Russell, who has already made clear his will to win right away at the wheel of a competitive car.