Max Verstappen took 2021 by storm as he took the championship from Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton, who was after his 8th world championship title. The Red Bull racer is now hunting down a second world championship as he fights against Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz this season.
But this denotes quite a downfall of Hamilton, who over the last 15 years or racing, hasn’t finished lower than fifth place in the standings. On top of that, there are only five drivers who have beaten him in points in the same amount of time with Sebastian Vettel being in this list the most.
- 2007 (finished 2nd): Kimi Raikkonen
- 2009 (finished 5th): Jenson Button, Sebastian Vettel, Rubens Barrichello, Mark Webber
- 2010 (finished 4th): Sebastian Vettel, Fernando Alonso, Mark Webber
- 2011 (finished 5th): Sebastian Vettel, Jenson Button, Mark Webber, Fernando Alonso
- 2012 (finished 4th): Sebastian Vettel, Fernando Alonso, Kimi Raikkonen
- 2013 (finished 4th): Sebastian Vettel, Fernando Alonso, Mark Webber
- 2016 (finished 2nd): Nico Rosberg
- 2021 (finished 2nd): Max Verstappen
This year seems to be a very different story for the Brit, who is currently fighting to stay at the front of the grid – as expected by Mercedes. And while many followers of the sport expected Mercedes to be sandbagging and bluffing during pre-season testing, it looks as though the team is really struggling with the new aerodynamic regulations.
This won’t be an easy fix for Mercedes despite a lucky start to the year after Red Bull had to retire both of its cars during the opening race in Bahrain. This means Mercedes still sits second place in the constructors standings currently, but this won’t last too much longer now Red Bull is fixing its powertrain issues.
What’s more worrying is that Hamilton’s new teammate George Russell sits in front of him in the current standings with 6 more points to his name. Verstappen’s teammate Sergio Perez would also sit in front of him if it wasn’t for an unlucky Bahrain DNF.
So, does this spell the end for Hamilton’s winning streak? And if so, will this push him to retire earlier than expected? Let us know what you think.♦ Follow Grand Tour Nation on Google News