Hamilton has "moved into overdrive" in F1 title battle - Brundle

Lewis Hamilton has "moved into overdrive" in the latter part of the 2021 Formula 1 season, according to ex-F1 driver and TV pundit Martin Brundle.

Hamilton has "moved into overdrive" in F1 title battle - Brundle

The Mercedes driver took victory in the Russian GP at the end of September before he went without a win in the next three events, seeing championship rival Max Verstappen increase his lead in the standings to 19 points.

But, after fitting a new engine in the Brazilian GP, Hamilton took a superb win despite starting from 10th on the grid after a penalty.

The seven-time champion then went on to dominate the following race in Qatar to reduce the gap to Verstappen to just eight points ahead of the final two races in Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi.

Brundle reckons that moving up a gear in the second half of the season has always been a Hamilton trait, and that both him and his Mercedes team have done it again this year.

"It's almost like he's moved into overdrive," Brundle told selected media including Motorsport.com. "He used to do that after the summer break, and people just didn't see which way he went when he took his Mercedes titles.

"And I think he's done the same again, probably a little bit later in the day, and Mercedes have done the same thing as Lewis has done.

"And all of a sudden, you wonder if he's not now the favourite for the championship with this kind of momentum.

"But it only needs some kind of trip-up, reliability, contact, puncture, whatever, and Max can take the title next weekend. Probably won't, but could.

"So it's that finely balanced. And I think the ebb and flow of the season is what Red Bull will be very much hoping for."

Hamilton raced with an older engine in Qatar, but will have the more powerful unit he used in Brazil at his disposal again in this weekend's inaugural Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 1st position, arrives in Parc Ferme

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 1st position, arrives in Parc Ferme

Photo by: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images

Despite that, Brundle doesn't think the British driver will be able to dominate the way he did in Qatar, but he does expect Mercedes to be the team to beat again.

"No, I don't," Brundle said when asked if he expected Hamilton to dominate this weekend. "Because I think they used that engine hard, you know, and Mercedes have had a what they call deg, degradation of their motors.

"Red Bull seemed to have a rear wing that works incredibly well at some tracks and not others and that they seem a little bit two-dimensional in that respect.

"I know there's eight points in it, and the points mean everything. But who would you put your money on? I mean, it is literally the one incident can change it, but I don't think they'll be as dominant as Brazil, but I still think there'll be the car to beat in Saudi Arabia."

Read Also:

The season finale in Abu Dhabi, which Verstappen won last year, will take place on a revised layout as a result of changes aimed at improving the show, and Brundle reckons the tweaks will benefit the characteristics of Hamilton's car.

"That's changed dramatically," he said of Abu Dhabi. "Red Bull dominated there last year, but you have to remember that Lewis was still recovering from COVID and was not on top form at all. And Max had the run of the place.

"The track's changed a lot, it's much faster, it's about 11 seconds a lap faster.

"When it comes to high speed, high or higher speed circuits, the Mercedes looks to have the upper hand.

"So these next two circuits I'm sure Mercedes is feeling pretty confident there."

Watch the Saudi Arabian GP live, only on Sky Sports F1 in the UK on Sunday 5th December.

shares
comments

Related video

Bottas will play bigger role than Perez in F1 title battle - Brundle
Previous article

Bottas will play bigger role than Perez in F1 title battle - Brundle

Next article

2021 F1 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix session timings and preview

2021 F1 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix session timings and preview
Load comments
Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shake-up Prime

Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shake-up

Formula 1 cars will look very different this year as the long-awaited fresh rules finally arrive with the stated aim of improving its quality of racing. We break down what the return of 'ground effect' aerodynamics - and a flurry of other changes besides - means for the teams, and what fans can expect

Why F1's new era is still dogged by its old world problems Prime

Why F1's new era is still dogged by its old world problems

OPINION: The 2022 Formula 1 season is just weeks away from getting underway, but instead of focusing on what is to come, the attention still remains on what has been – not least the Abu Dhabi title decider controversy. That, plus other key talking points, must be resolved to allow the series to warmly welcome in its new era

Formula 1
Jan 20, 2022
The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022 Prime

The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022

Mick Schumacher’s knack of improving during his second season in a championship was a trademark of his junior formula career, so his progress during his rookie Formula 1 campaign with Haas was encouraging. His target now will be to turn that improvement into results as the team hopes to reap the rewards of sacrificing development in 2021

Formula 1
Jan 19, 2022
The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push Prime

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push

As the driver of Formula 1’s medical car, Alan van der Merwe’s job is to wait – and hope his skills aren’t needed. James Newbold hears from F1’s lesser-known stalwart.

Formula 1
Jan 15, 2022
When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push Prime

When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push

There was an ace up the sleeve during the 1983 F1 title-winning season of Nelson Piquet and Brabham. It made a frontrunning car invincible for the last three races to see off Renault's Alain Prost and secure the combination's second world title in three years

Formula 1
Jan 13, 2022
How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner Prime

How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner

Brabham’s first world championship race-winning car was held back by unreliable Climax engines – or so its creators believed, as STUART CODLING explains

Formula 1
Jan 10, 2022
The steps Norris took to reach a new level in the 2021 F1 season Prime

The steps Norris took to reach a new level in the 2021 F1 season

Lando Norris came of age as a grand prix driver in 2021. McLaren’s young ace is no longer an apprentice or a quietly capable number two – he’s proved himself a potential winner in the top flight and, as Stuart Codling finds out, he’s ready to stake his claim to greatness…

Formula 1
Jan 9, 2022
How Fangio set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton in F1 Prime

How Fangio set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton in F1

Juan Manuel Fangio, peerless on track and charming off it, established the gold standard of grand prix greatness. Nigel Roebuck recalls a remarkable champion.

Formula 1
Jan 8, 2022