Saudi Arabia 2021 F1 Preview: Decisive round for Verstappen and Hamilton in Jeddah

The Continental Circus is resuming its tour of the Middle East with the Saudi Arabian F1 GP 2021 which is making its World Championship debut at the imposing Jeddah Street night Circuit. The challenging new track will be hosting the 21st & penultimate round of one of the most thrilling World Series of the later years. 

Saudi Arabian F1 GP 2021 which is making its World Championship debut at the imposing Jeddah Street night Circuit. The challenging new track will be hosting the penultimate round of one of the most thrilling World Cups of the later years. 

Both title candidates arrive in Saudi Arabia just eight points apart. Following his second consecutive win of the season in Qatar, Mercedes´ Lewis Hamilton (343.5 points) is on fire to attempt and snatch the lead from Red Bull´s Max Verstappen (351.5 points). 

The Englishman will be the enemy to beat in Jeddah, given his car’s excellent performance after its latest round of improvements. The Dutchman, on the other hand, can only but try and contain the British tornado.

Powerless in the face of the German car’s superiority, Verstappen will come onto the track with the goal of minimizing the damage. Both at Sao Paulo and at the following round in Losail, the Dutch leader suffer two overwhelming defeats at the hands of Lewis Hamilton and his W12. 

Hamilton & Mercedes, absolute favorites

In principle, we are to expect more of the same at the shores of the Red Sea, with the German team as the absolute favourites to take the glory at the Saudi Arabian F1 GP 2021. Red Bull has no choice but to go on the defensive or, in other words, to try to yield the least number of points to Hamilton.

They can only hope that the German cyclone loses some of its strength ahead of the final assault on Abu Dhabi. If that is the case, they could arrive at the grand finale in Yas Marina in a tie. 

The Mercedes car is not only faster but the Jeddah circuit, characterized by its very high speed, will also become a great ally to Lewis Hamilton and his machine. 

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Hamilton will get behind the wheel of the updated car that he first used in Brazil to crush his Austrian rivals.  At the subsequent test in Losail, the team’s confidence in the seven-time champion was such that they decided not to use it, reserving it for the two final assaults at Jeddah and Yas Marina.Thanks to this decision, Hamilton will enjoy an almost new engine (400 km), which, in any case still could lose steam as the laps go by. 

Despite having everything against him, Verstappen still will have a first chance to seal the title on Sunday. In order to do this, he would need to score 18 points more than HamiltonIf he win, get the fastest lap, and for Hamilton to finish in sixth place or lower or if he could even finish in second place as long as he gets the fastest lap and the Briton doesn’t do any better than a seventh place, Max will be crowned. 

Under normal circumstances, however, these results seem unlikely but Jeddah may keep some surprises in store. 

Bottas & Perez, a key role for the titles fight

But is not only down to the two main title bidders. Their respective teammates are also to play an essential part in this complex four-way struggle. Mercedes will be attempting for Valtteri Bottas to finish ahead of Verstappen, so as to rob him of some invaluable points.

The Austrians, for their part, will use Checo Perez to neutralize this strategy, and so the Mexican will be giving everything he has in order to get ahead of his Finnish alter ego. 

A very fast & challenging track

The track is the second longest and fastest in the World Championship circuit, with estimated average speeds of 250 km / h and maximum speeds of 310 km / h. It has 27 corners, and the proximity of the guards will prevent any mistakes.

All in all, an immense and uncharted challenge. The total lack of experience of any of the drivers on the new track makes it very likely for incidents to happen and a safety car could present an opportunity for Verstappen to get ahead of the game. 

Midfield: Ferrari vs McLaren

Meanwhile, the fight for third place in the Constructors’ standings is getting increasingly red. Ferrari is now 39.5 points in the lead after McLaren only managed to add four points over the last three races. With only two races to go, it seems the Italians can already start planning their celebrations.

Images of Saudi Arabian F1 GP 2021: F1.com.

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