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Formula 1

How Hamilton and Verstappen compare at F1's final races

Seven races remain in the 2021 F1 season, with just two points separating Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen. As the title run-in approaches, RacingNews365.com presents their records at each track, while considering who is likely to come out on top at two new circuits.

Verstappen Hamilton
Analysis
To news overview © Getty Images/Red Bull Contentpool

With F1 2021 building towards its climax, the top two drivers in the championship are separated by just two points.

RacingNews365.com looks back at their records at each venue during the hybrid era, and predicts who might be the favourite for each event!

Turkish Grand Prix

Year Winner
2020 Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)

With just one Turkish Grand Prix held in the last 10 years, it's Lewis Hamilton who enjoys a 100 percent win record in the hybrid era at Istanbul Park.

Last year's race was one of chaos, given the slippery surface and the rain, but it was Hamilton who masterfully rose to the occasion en route to his seventh world title.

In contrast, it was a difficult day for Max Verstappen. A spin while racing against Sergio Perez was a rare mistake from the Dutch driver, while a front wing setting error meant he was curiously off the pace.

Essentially, there isn't much of a record on equal terms to compare the two title protagonists in Turkey in recent seasons.

Of course, Hamilton has plenty of prior experience in Istanbul. He won the race in 2010, beating McLaren teammate Jenson Button in an epic duel after the collision between the two Red Bull drivers, while Hamilton's ability was first shown to a global audience in a sensational drive in GP2 in 2006, as he recovered from an early-race spin.

RN365's Pick: Lewis Hamilton

United States Grand Prix

Year Winner
2014 Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
2015 Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
2016 Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
2017 Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
2018 Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari)
2019 Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes)

On average, Hamilton and Verstappen have completed the last two United States Grands Prix in exactly the same amount of time.

With no 2020 event, the last race at the Circuit of the Americas was in 2019. On that day, Hamilton beat Verstappen to second place by just over a second, after Mercedes and Red Bull ran slightly different strategies.

The year before, Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen had the measure of both Hamilton and Verstappen, but it was Verstappen who came home just over a second clear of Hamilton to take second place. In 2017, Verstappen initially finished on the podium but was denied his spot as a result of a time penalty for overtaking Raikkonen on the inside of the long right-hander in the final sector.

The United States has been a happy hunting ground for Hamilton consistently throughout his career, winning every year between 2014 and 2017, before two strong podiums in 2018 and 2019.

Verstappen is yet to reach the top step of the podium at the venue, something he'll be aiming to rectify this season.

RN365's Pick: Lewis Hamilton

			© Mercedes
	© Mercedes

Mexican Grand Prix

Year Winner
2015 Nico Rosberg (Mercedes)
2016 Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
2017 Max Verstappen (Red Bull)
2018 Max Verstappen (Red Bull)
2019 Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)

The Mexican Grand Prix has been a popular venue with Red Bull and Verstappen in recent seasons, although the 2019 event proved to be a scrappy event.

A first-lap tussle between Hamilton and Verstappen saw both drivers go off the track and fall down the order but, during the recovery to the front of the pack, Verstappen picked up a rear-left puncture as Valtteri Bottas' front wing touched his tyre in the stadium section.

Hamilton would come back to win the race against Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel. In the two seasons prior to that, Verstappen picked up the win at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez with comfortable drives.

On the face of it, the pair have been reasonably evenly matched in Mexico.

RN365's Pick: Max Verstappen

Sao Paulo (Brazilian) Grand Prix

Year Winner
2014 Nico Rosberg (Mercedes)
2015 Nico Rosberg (Mercedes)
2016 Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
2017 Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari)
2018 Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
2019 Max Verstappen (Red Bull)

The 2016 Brazilian Grand Prix was one of the first races that really started to prove just how good Max Verstappen is, as he showed off his car control in wet conditions.

The 2017 race was a Ferrari affair, with Red Bull having to settle in behind the Scuderia and Mercedes, as Verstappen finished ahead of Hamilton in qualifying after the Briton crashed out in Q1. But Hamilton would come from the back of the grid to finish ahead of Verstappen, as Red Bull simply didn't have the pace that season.

Verstappen certainly did have the pace in 2018, leading comfortably until his now infamous clash with Esteban Ocon, as the French driver attempted to unlap himself. This handed the win to Hamilton, but Verstappen made up for it in 2019 with a peerless drive from pole position. It was Hamilton who was in the wars on that occasion, hitting Alex Albon when it looked as though Red Bull could achieve a one-two.

There was no race held at Interlagos in 2020.

RN365's Pick: Max Verstappen

			© Getty Images/Red Bull Contentpool
	© Getty Images/Red Bull Contentpool

Qatar Grand Prix

No previous events

Of course, Formula 1 has never raced in Qatar before, but the Losail International Circuit is reasonably well-known thanks to MotoGP.

Fast, flowing and with a coarse tarmac surface, these are all characteristics that Mercedes seem to enjoy, as witnessed earlier this year at Portimao and Catalunya.

So, based on that and that alone...

RN365's Pick: Lewis Hamilton

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

No previous events

Saudi Arabia's arrival with the Jeddah Street Circuit later this season also throws up plenty of unknowns. The circuit isn't even built yet, but the tarmac is expected to be smooth and grippy.

While there will be a long main straight, the street track characteristics could make it somewhat more akin to Azerbaijan's circuit in Baku, although Baku does rely more heavily on 90-degree corners through the first half of the lap.

Red Bull were the quickest in Azerbaijan, but can they do the same in Saudi Arabia?

RN365's Pick: Max Verstappen

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Year Winner
2014 Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
2015 Nico Rosberg (Mercedes)
2016 Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
2017 Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes)
2018 Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
2019 Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
2020 Max Verstappen (Red Bull)

Verstappen was simply untouchable at last season's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, although the Drivers' Championship had long since been decided in Hamilton's favour.

Last year, this was the race at which Hamilton returned from his bout of COVID-19 and he still looked the worse for wear from it as he failed to have much impact on the battle at the very front.

The 2019 race was Hamilton's, with a comfortable lead of 17 seconds over Verstappen at the chequered flag, while Hamilton beat Vettel to the win in 2018.

Up until last season, it appeared the Yas Marina Circuit better-suited Mercedes than Red Bull. If this trend has continued, then Verstappen might want to hope to have built up a bit of a lead before flying to Abu Dhabi...

RN365's Pick: Lewis Hamilton

Poll

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