Jenson Button gives Lewis Hamilton vs Max Verstappen title verdict before final two races

George Russell joins Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes

We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info

Former Formula One driver Jenson Button admits he has “no idea” which way the championship will go this season between Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, with just two races remaining.

After a dominant display during a penalty-riddled Sao Paulo Grand Prix weekend, Hamilton stormed to victory from tenth on the grid in Interlagos and followed that fine performance with another win in Qatar to reduce Verstappen’s lead to eight points with two races remaining.

Verstappen had edged himself ahead as Mercedes seemed to have no answers to their pace, however with another twist in the championship, the Dutchman has been once again presented by a roadblock with Hamilton’s dominance over the past few races.

The 36-year-old refused to back down and fought back with a vengeance in Brazil and Qatar to cut the lead to just eight with only races in Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi remaining.

Button, who is currently working for Sky Sports F1 as a pundit, was Hamilton’s team-mate at McLaren between 2010 and 2012 after winning his world championship title alongside Brawn in 2009.

Formula One next heads to Jeddah for the inaugural Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, and Button says it’s too close for him to call.

JUST IN:
Mercedes issue Max Verstappen warning for Saudi Arabia GP 

“It’s rather exciting, isn’t it,” said Button on Sky Sports F1. “Two races to go, eight points in it, and two of the best drivers in the world that we’ve seen drive F1 cars.

“It’s extremely tight, and we don’t know which car is going to be quick at the next race [at the Jeddah Street Circuit].

“It’s an exciting track from what we’ve seen. It’s very fast, no room for error in Saudi Arabia, with all the barriers around the track which makes it even better.”

Yet, when asked about his view on who might win the championship, Button remained firmly on the fence.

He added: “I actually have no idea, both are doing a great job, teams are doing a great job.

“It looks like Mercedes has the upper hand at the moment, but the next circuit is very different.

“And then obviously Abu Dhabi. We don’t know what to expect from that new layout either.”

DON’T MISS:
Max Verstappen F1 title verdict given in Lewis Hamilton battle
Hamilton explains why he no longer gives Verstappen ‘benefit of doubt’
Lewis Hamilton opens up about bullying and how it shaped him in F1

Formula One next heads to Jeddah for the inaugural Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, and Button says it’s too close for him to call.

“It’s rather exciting, isn’t it,” said Button on Sky Sports F1. “Two races to go, eight points in it, and two of the best drivers in the world that we’ve seen drive F1 cars.

“It’s extremely tight, and we don’t know which car is going to be quick at the next race [at the Jeddah Street Circuit].

“It’s an exciting track from what we’ve seen. It’s very fast, no room for error in Saudi Arabia, with all the barriers around the track which makes it even better.”

Yet, when asked about his view on who might win the championship, Button remained firmly on the fence.

Fellow Sky pundit Martin Brundle believes Mercedes however have made a “pivotal shift” after they closed the gap on Verstappen.

Writing in his column for Sky Sports, Brundle said: “There can be no doubt that Hamilton and Mercedes have raised their game at a pivotal point of the championship.

“Lewis has found renewed trust in the factory simulator and works late into the night at the track as he impressively finds new motivation for an eighth title despite his relative age, trophy warehouse, and significant bank balance.

“Mercedes have some powerful car setup tools and a fresh engine too for the remainder of the season which will ensure they are very fast, and no doubt they will be watching each other like hawks regarding interpretation of particularly the aero regulations. You couldn’t help but feel both teams were on their best behaviour with their rear wing elements in Qatar.

“Only Max can mathematically win the championship at the penultimate round in Saudi Arabia but, given the high-speed track layout there and such prodigious recent performance of the Mercedes, that will only happen if Lewis has a problem.”

The battle continues on December 5 with Hamilton and Verstappen once again stepping into the unknown with a brand new track added to the calendar.

Mathematically Verstappen can seal the deal in Saudi, however most suspect it will go down to the season finale which takes place the week after in Abu Dhabi.

Source: Read Full Article