Formula 1: Battle for the Throne

Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton’s back and forth for the Formula 1 Driver’s Championship


Chris Medland/Gabriel Bouys

Max Verstappen (Left) & Lewis Hamilton (Right)

Matthew Boguski, Paw Print Editor

The most coveted championship in motorsports has run uncontested for the past seven years with Mercedes and drivers Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg locking down the turbo-hybrid era.

Although Mercedes is not running unchallenged this year. Red Bull looks to challenge Mercedes for the title this year. With the young Dutchman in Max Verstappen, Red Bull’s star driver, the constructor has constant success with Verstappen leading Hamilton by five points in the driver championship and catching up to Mercedes’ eighteen-point lead in the constructor championship.

The constant fight with the two front runners has been a real back and forth with Hamilton and Verstappen trading who leads the championship, this season has been nothing but a series of highs and lows for both drivers.

Hamilton himself has put a lot of pressure on the suddenly dominant Red Bull team. Coming from a season in which the Briton held a 133 point lead from his now closest competitor he has admitted himself that the Honda-powered is becoming much faster. With phenomenal opening phew races, Hamilton’s performance has slowed down in terms of winning potential. From a rough qualifying session in Monaco, to a horrendous race start in Baku, and a rough fight in both races at the Red Bull Ring. Especially with the focus of the teams on the new regulation cars for the 2022 season, Mercedes has some catching up to do.

In a similar boat, Verstappen has been really pushing through the gates to stay at the top this season. Verstappen has scored seven wins, with his teammate Sergio Perez being able to avenge the dutchman in the unfortunate rear-left tire puncture that he and Stroll both suffered in the close-knit track in Azerbaijan. Although the Honda power-unit matched with the talented young driver has given Red Bull a real serious chance at contending for the title. The race is so tight in fact that even commentator David Croft has named them the “Championship Protagonists” throughout the entire season. 

Yet as the second half of the season approaches with what already seems to be an explosive race in Sochi for the Russian Grand Prix. Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolf has already stated that he is looking to end the current win drought, possibly letting Valterri Bottas, Hamilton’s teammate, run loose in a track he has great past results in. Although Red Bull is not scared to be applying pressure. Honda has applied their final major upgrade to the Red Bull Power Unit as they eye another title since 2013 as they look to finally exit from the sport. 

Coming up on top this Sunday will become a challenge for both teams as they rush to become more dominant. This season has had us all wondering who will come out on top. Will Max Verstappen finally be able to dethrone Lewis Hamilton?