Former Formula 1 driver Gerhard Berger feels that Lewis Hamilton's interests outside of the racetrack might cost him the title in 2021.
Mercedes driver Hamilton is well known for having interests beyond just Formula 1. The Englishman has openly stated that he would like to get more involved in the war against social and racial inequality and the Briton is an avid supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement. Though, no doubt altruistic in nature, Berger feels Hamilton's focus might be compromised, which could ultimately cost him the championship.
"He (Hamilton) has so many side businesses like Black Lives Matter, music or fashion," Berger told Kronen Zeitung.
"He has a bit of focus everywhere. I'm curious to see how long it will take for that to affect his performance. So far everything is fine.
"It doesn't matter whether he plays music until 4 o'clock in the morning or attends a concert in LA. He got up and took pole position. Impressive. But I don't see it as a given that he will perform as well again."
Berger was much more positive about Red Bull and Max Verstappen's chances heading into the 2021 Formula 1 season, though the former Ferrari driver ultimately stopped short of placing a 10 euro wager on the Dutchman winning the championship.
"I see Max as an absolute world champion driver," Berger said.
"Watching him is a feast for the eyes. His speed, his aggressiveness - absolutely brilliant. But he didn't have a chance for the title yet. You have to see how he deals with it.
"So I can't put the 10 euros on Max for sure, also because Lewis has already won seven world titles."
Berger also explained how Verstappen's chances at a championship have been boosted by the efforts made by both Red Bull and Honda.
"The tests have shown that Red Bull is very strong," Berger continued
"Honda has taken an absolute step forward. That is what Red Bull needed most. And with the slight changes to the regulations, especially on the underbody, you could see that Adrian Newey knows best how to get the balance right.
"That also speaks for Red Bull. Mercedes still needs a little to understand one thing or the other. But they'll get that under control in no time at all.
"Conclusion: The opposite of the last few years: Red Bull might even have advantages."
The 2021 Formula 1 season will hopefully see a much more enthralling season unfold rather than the procession that fans have been forced to witness in recent years. Many experts believe the season will be a tug of war between Red Bull and Mercedes in what should hopefully culminate into a gripping season.