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Damon Hill

Hill: Luck is with 'charmed' Verstappen this season

Damon Hill believes the crucial ingredient of luck is with Max Verstappen this season, the Dutch driver having come through Red Bull's weak races without any significant points loss to Lewis Hamilton.

Verstappen Hamilton Sochi
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To news overview © Red Bull Content Pool / Getty Images

Damon Hill believes that luck is currently on Max Verstappen's side, a crucial ingredient in any title challenge.

Verstappen had been looking at a sixth- or seventh-place finish in Russia after a solid recovery drive from the back of the grid.

But a late rain shower saw the Dutchman time the switch to the Intermediate tyre perfectly, with Verstappen rising to second in the final laps and only losing minimal points to race-winning title rival Lewis Hamilton.

Having had such a strong result at a circuit that was supposed to favour Mercedes, Hill said that Verstappen is leading a "charmed" life at the moment.

"You can understand why, in ancient times, people believed there were gods that favoured certain sides in battle, because I mean he's definitely been charmed these last few races," 1996 World Champion Hill said on the F1 Nation podcast.

"I know there was a very controversial thing in Monza, but the net result was one race went past and he was supposed to lose out to Lewis and he didn't and then, this race, he was supposed to lose a whole chunk and he didn't.

"So Christian [Horner] said it's like a victory and they are mighty relieved I think."

Pointed out to him that luck usually balances itself out over a season, the example of Baku was used to show where Verstappen had had some bad luck.

On that occasion, the he lost a near-certain 25 points when he suffered a tyre failure while leading the race with five laps to go.

"Yeah, it was [unlucky]," said Hill, looking back at the race.

"But it was also Lewis', or Mercedes' screw up that didn't capitalise on that mistake as well. That's what I'm saying. If you look back over the season, it's like, 'What does it point towards?'

"It points towards the luck being more with Max, I think, than it is with Lewis. These things can change, of course, but I think that we shall see.

"I'm sure he would say, 'What about Silverstone?', that was lucky for Lewis, because he carried on but, you know, it's so finely balanced."

Also interesting:

F1 Podcast: Are Mercedes and Hamilton hiding reliability problems in F1 title race?

Lewis Hamilton claimed his 100th Grand Prix win to move into the championship lead, but it's Red Bull and Max Verstappen who will be happiest after the Russian Grand Prix.

F1 2021 Russian Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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