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Max Verstappen

Hakkinen: Verstappen vs Hamilton battle could have 'extraordinary' end

The fight for the 2021 F1 World Championship between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen continues into the final two races of the season, and the possibility of it going down to the wire is something Mika Hakkinen is excited about.

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To news overview © Getty Images/Red Bull Contentpool

Mika Hakkinen admits it would be an "extraordinary" end to the 2021 F1 season if the title battle between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton goes down to the wire.

With two races remaining, Verstappen currently has an eight-point lead over Hamilton in the Drivers' standings. Whilst it is mathematically possible for Verstappen to win the World Championship at the next event in Saudi Arabia - something that Hamilton cannot do - it seems likely that the title could be decided at the season-closing Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

In fact, there is a strong possibility that both drivers could arrive at the final race on equal points, a scenario that Hakkinen is excited by.

"If Lewis wins again in Saudi Arabia and sets fastest lap, with Max finishing second - a strong possibility - the two drivers would go to the final round of the World Championship on equal points," Hakkinen wrote in his column for Unibet.

"It would be an extraordinary end to what has been an amazingly close season."

Jeddah could favour Hamilton

Verstappen might still be leading the championship but Hamilton has been on a strong run of form recently. The Mercedes driver displayed blistering pace over the Brazilian Grand Prix weekend, where he surged through the field in the Sprint Qualifying event before winning the main race.

This was followed up by another victory one week later at the Qatar Grand Prix, and Hakkinen thinks that the next race in Jeddah could potentially favour Hamilton again.

"We now head to Saudi Arabia for the penultimate Grand Prix of the season. With Max only eight points in front of Lewis, and Mercedes five points ahead of Red Bull in the teams' championship, both championships could swing either way," the two-time F1 World Champion said.

"Max could even win the World Championship in Jeddah if Lewis has a bad result.

"But on a circuit that seems to favour cars with good straight-line speed, and Mercedes planning to use the 'Brazil engine' in Lewis's car, the defending champion will be looking for nothing less than a win."

F1 Podcast: Is it game over for Red Bull after Hamilton's Qatar domination?

Does Lewis Hamilton's recent run of form against Max Verstappen now make him the favourite to claim the title? F1 journalists Dieter Rencken, Thomas Maher and Mike Seymour discuss this and more in the latest episode of the RacingNews365 podcast!

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