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  • Anna Dugdale

November's Sport of the Month - Formula One

As it gears up to the end of the Formula 1 season, things are heating up in the tightest title

race in years. Max Verstappen is fighting one of the sports all-time greats, Lewis Hamilton,

for his maiden championship title. Hamilton has won six of the last seven world

championships, taking his total up to seven. Winning this year’s championship would take

his title count up to eight, meaning he would be considered the most successful driver in

Formula 1 history.

With just four races left of the season, Max Verstappen is 19 points ahead of his

Championship rival. The next race is Brazil, the last race of the season with a sprint

qualifying format, which changes a lot in terms of tyre allocation. Rather than 13 sets of

tyres, teams are allocated 12. In basic terms, instead of having a knock-out version of

qualifying, teams compete in a 100km sprint race, and it lasts around 25-30 minutes. Drivers

race flat out, start to finish without needing pitstops. The winner gains 3 points in the

Championship and starts in pole position on Sunday’s race. The format is new to the sport

but provides fans with a nail-biting qualifying session.

Brazil is an interesting race; the weather plays an enormous part in strategy, and it changes

constantly. The weather ranges from intense heat to thunderous rain. There is no sure-fire

way of winning, strategy varies every single year and is weather dependant. Interlagos

always provides entertainment, it has excellent overtaking opportunities.

In the past few years, the Championship race has normally been very black and white. Lewis

Hamilton has been the out and out the winner with very little challenge, bar Sebastian Vettel in

2017 and 2018 when he was driving for Ferrari. Red Bull Racing has thrown everything at

making Verstappen a World Champion, throwing away their academy drivers futures to

focus on Max and designing a car that suits his driving style. This doesn’t mean that

Verstappen hasn’t grown into a more developed and impressive driver in his own right.

Verstappen has always been known for being a ferocious racer, however, this has got him in

trouble in the past. He has let his emotions cloud his judgements and as the title challenge

heats up and is closer than ever, it will be interesting to see if Verstappen’s newfound

maturity can withstand the pressure of an intense Championship battle. This is perhaps

where Hamilton’s experience will aid him, he’s used to intense battles and can withstand

the pressure.

The last month of the season is always one of the most exciting in F1. There is still the

Brazilian Grand Prix, the Qatar Grand Prix, the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix and the Abu Dhabi

Grand Prix to go. These four races will decide if the Championship will be won by veteran

Hamilton or if Verstappen will be awarded his maiden World Championship.

If you’re looking for a new sport to get your teeth into, tune into the last four races of the

Formula 1 season! If you find yourself attached after the season is done, you can always

tune in to the drama-filled Drive to Survive on Netflix.

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