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 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.