Fernando Alonso, Alpine, Yas Marina, 2021

Mercedes deserve constructors title but Max is “driving a step ahead of us” – Alonso

2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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Max Verstappen deserves to win the drivers championship this year, says Fernando Alonso, while Mercedes should take the constructors’ title.

Alonso said Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton have been driving at a consistently high level, but named the Red Bull driver as his pick for the title.

“Both of them are driving amazing and no mistakes and pushing the limits every race,” said Alonso. “You see that they are first and second in every race because they are on another level. So that’s fantastic to see how they push each other.”

The pair have filled the top two spots in each of the last five races and go into this weekend’s finale tied on points.

“This final race is going to be tense, for sure, for them,” said Alonso. “I think it will depend on the package a little bit. Mercedes lately, I think, is said to be more performing and they won a couple of races now.

“But Max is driving, in my opinion, one step ahead of all of us. We saw the lap in Jeddah until he touched the wall in the last corner – that lap was coming from Max, not from the Red Bull.

“So in a way that’s my opinion: Mercedes deserve the constructors championship because the car is superior and Max maybe overall in the year was driving one a step ahead of everyone.”

However Alonso insisted he wasn’t cheering on either of his rivals to take the title. “It’s not that I support Max,” he said. “I think he deserved it or he was driving – in my opinion, as I said, everyone has a different opinion – I think he was driving that Red Bull to another level.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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99 comments on “Mercedes deserve constructors title but Max is “driving a step ahead of us” – Alonso”

  1. Oh here we have again.
    Alonso just can’t help himself,always taking little shots at lewis,because he is still salty over what happened in 2007.
    Whoever wins the wdc will deserve it imo.

    1. lol, he’s usually very respectful about Hamilton and has been for years.
      calm down bud

    2. Exactly my thoughts. Alonso still sour grapes from 2007.

    3. The Mercedes is still a superior drive, and max is taking more risk than ham as ham and clearly has the edge over ham. Just compare the second drivers.

    4. If you can’t attack the message, attack the messenger.

    5. “You cant have an opinion unless it favors Lewis ”

      Blind Hamilton fan

    6. Here we go again.

      SLH’s defenders of his virtue.

      If the comment about their god is not 100% positive, then there’s some underlying problematic issue with it, huh?

    7. I am not Alonso. He is not me.

      I actually like Alonso’s take. I believe Max is driving the RB beyond, although the team making it pointy, to meet his driving preference, will always make him look the better driver long side Perez.

      The old adage that we’ll never know unless dropped in the same car is appropriate, but I am personally glad they racing in separate teams, as both teams have geared these cars around their star drivers.

      Good luck to both teams and drivers!

  2. No doubt, the Hammy brigade will blow this out of proportion and inevitably say “something something something 2007, something something something a rookie DESTROYED Alonso.”

    However, aside from the some of the dirty tactics from Max in Brasil and to a lesser extent in Jeddah, Max has clearly been the driver of the year. It wasn’t even clear until the last 4 races that Hamilton should be considered #2. He’s made a lot of mistakes this year. Max’s only substantial mistake was in quali in Jeddah. He’s been much more unlucky that Hamilton. This championship could have very easily been wrapped up by now without two big mistakes by Lewis:

    1. Baku. That was Lewis’ race to win. Or at worst place 2nd behind Checo -18 pts
    2. Hungary. Lewis was fortunate to have such massive performance advantage to come from the back of the field. But it should have been a straightforward win so -7 pts

    On top of that, Hamilton was massively lucky in Imola, salvaging a 2nd place after what should have been a no points finish so +18 points. In Silverstone, he should have been about a lap down but like Imola, the red flag saved him. That;s another 25 pts.

    I can’t think of any race, other than Bahrain, that Max should have won and didn’t.

    1. Never has any Formula one driver say another driver is better than them

    2. @ajpennypacker I kind of agree that Verstappen had the better season until Brazil. Since then I think his driving has been a bit below his normal level, which perhaps explains the slight desperation that’s set in with the aggression. Where I disagree with Alonso is that I don’t see the Saudi Arabia lap as ‘one step ahead’ but as overdriving when he could have won pole. The Red Bull had the pace on the soft tyres. Had Verstappen started at the front and Red Bull put him on the right tyre strategy, he could have won I think.

      1. I still sort of disagree. I mean, the dirty stuff is obviously not good. But in Brazil I thought it was actually incredibly he managed to keep Lewis behind for so long. The Mercedes had pace advantage circa 2014. In Qatar, pace advantage was smaller but still significant. There was no strategy that would have ever allowed an RBR to finish ahead of Hamilton. In Jeddah it was similar. In all those races Max finished second. The dirty stuff, to me, was just desperation trying to make something happen and maybe avert the inevitability of Hamilton getting ahead.

        I just hope Abu Dhabi shows them more evenly matches and get a straightforward fight. About the driving. A bit like Bahrain, Austin, and many other this year

    3. I can think of a lot of races that Lewis could have won. And i am not counting Monaco where he had offweekend and should at least bagged a podium.

      France and USA: Merc better car but beaten on strategy.
      Zandvoort: undercut failed due to slow pitstop.
      Spa (how could even Russell outqualify Lewis on this Merc track)
      Monza. Lewis goofed up start of sprintrace. Losing 3pts here and also missed the chance to start from pole on Sunday.

      1. You’re absolutely right, I don’t agree with baku cause hamilton could’ve won only cause of the issue verstappen had, on performance it would’ve been a red bull 1-2.

      2. Or he could have been a lap down at Emilia Romagna GP…

    4. ‘Hammy Brigade’ here!!

      Let’s shatter a few myths;-

      1) Alonso has a problem with Hamilton since 20007 – WRONG!! Alosno not only rushed around three-quarters of the way to congratulate Lewis in 2008, but for the next few seasons named him as his most fearsome opponent, despite Vettel been in a faster car!! It was a source of amusement, when at the start of 2012, despite Hamilton not having the car and RB clearly been superior (after their dominant 2011) Alonso still cited Lewis as his biggest danger

      2) Hamilton fans won’t admit that Verstappen is good or perhaps even better – WRONG!! I and others have admitted that Max has been marginally better and deserves to win. Although, Hamilton’s form since Mexico – actually means he’s caught up. Or can’t Max fans admire Hamilton’s relentless of pursuit of Verstappen, on inferior tyres last year.

      So actually, whoever wins this race will be deserved champion – because overall, they are now about even

      1. Hamilton fan here fully agreed

        Both deserve to win equally

        I dont give credit to max for making less mistakes because it is cancelled out by his dirty driving

      2. Hamilton will probably never catch max as max has a stronger psyche and is younger, he was only lucky to get the best car for many years, as other drivers state.

    5. Verstappen unnecessarily blew most of his 33 point lead at Silverstone, by defending when he simply didn’t need to.

      Max doesn’t defend – he loses, at the most, 8 points and actually might have gained that amount

      Max decides that no-one is allowed to over take and loses 25 points

      That’s an error in his racing, just as bad as Lewis at Baku.

      1. Ok @banbrorace. I give you massive credit for those honest takes on the Hamilton rivalry. It almost makes me question your credentials as a member of the Hammy brigage :-)

        About the lost points in Silverstone for Max… while in restrospect it’s easy to say it was Max’s mistake, it could have very easily finished Lewis’ race. He was extraordinarily lucky that the long red flag allowed for the extensive repairs needed on his car. Let’s not forget that it was Lewis who was penalised. So according to the stewards (with whom I also happen to agree) it was Lewis’ mistake.

        That being said, clearly Max’s mistake was being so aggressive while on the outside of the corner. He learned though, perhaps too well, considering the many incidents (*cough* dirty moves) he later had with Lewis, none of which found Max on the outside of a corner.

        Anyway, I think Silverstone was a test. Both drivers rolled the dice and it very much favoured Lewis that day. In Monza it was slightly reversed. Lewis should have won that race. Mercedes had great pace advantage. He could have easily avoided that incident with Max and overtaken him on the straight easily a couple of laps later. Lewis also learned from this and got very good at avoiding Max.

        1. I dislike Red Bull management (yes, since they started winning in 2009 the team has been admirable, but annoying still trying to be fun, but not actually managing it due to whining), and believe the ‘mentally strong’ that Tost (see other article) talks about often just presents as straight up being a bit of a bully w/o ability for self-reflection for Verstappen, but I fully agree with what that post @ajpennyparker

          Also, I certainly hope to see a good fair fight in the coming race, with the winner being the deserved WDC, whoever of the two it will be.

          Verstappen started in a better car, but missed a few chances (Baku arguably being the team taking too much camber-risk, given how silent they went about that themselves), then came strong in the middle of the season and showed just what a strong, talented and smart driver he is, but then seemed to be over-reaching over the last few races as he and his team got into a panic about the Merc car, while forgetting they themselves still had the points advantage and a great team.

          Hamilton started great in a lesser, more difficult car, but also made clear mistakes, maybe out of ‘desperation’ at how though it is (and indications are he also was still suffering from Covid after-effects, which maybe made him less solid than he should be), regardless he also had luck on his side to compensate and often enough showed great things that when they found the right car setup and he had his new engine he was able to hound Verstappen until he equaled him in points.

          So for me, if Hamilton wins it, it is because he and his team didn’t give up and re-found themselves in the last quarter, while if Verstappen wins, it is for starting strong, going to great highs, and not quite squandering it despite panic setting in from fortunes having turned. Seems quite worthy then, and gave us a very interesting season.

          One thing I will say though, if Hamilton/Merc lose out, they know and understand where they lost it, so it will not negatively impact them for next year, while if Verstappen/Red Bull lose out, I am not sure they themselves will learn the right lessons to come back strong next year where it is potentially a much more crowded front. I really hope the outward presentation is very fake there, or they are in for a long sulking winter (but maybe my bias shows there).

      2. Still Silverstone was Lewis fault and he was lightly penalised for it.

        1. Still a racing incident for me

    6. Mad Max has been driving recklessly and putting his and other drivers safety at risk this season. As someone else said he has the nasty side of Schumachers style to win at all costs. His success will always be tarnished by his aggressiveness

    7. Spot on. It has been that sort of year where Max deserves it but doesn’t wins it because bad luck. What it does tell you that Max will be there if Red Bull can give him a competitive car year after year.

  3. Speak for yourself Fernando, Max is better then you but not better than Lewis. No Formula One driver will or should say another driver is better than them, so why would Alonso say that? Is is because of his hate for Lewis I wonder

  4. I think it’s a fair assessment; Lewis certainly wasn’t at his absolute best for parts of the season whereas Max has generally been a bit more consistent throughout, and despite all his antics over the past few races he’s still maximised his points tally.

    Arguably Fernando should have won in 2012, but he didn’t.

    1. 2010 and 2012. But alas… Ferrari strategy in 2010 and Grosean in 2012. Those two years, but especially 2012, would have been the most spectacular champion ever in that Ferrari didn’t even have the 2nd best car. I still watch the season review from 2012 and marvel how he managed to take it to the last race.

      1. idk how u can put mclaren as the 2nd best car considering it broke down like half the time… part of being the best car is reliability too you know

      2. Spa wasn’t the only reason that lost it for him in 2012, Ferrari failing to pit him for new tyres at Canada also played its part.

  5. If the Merc is again the superior car this weekend and Max will end 2nd again, what more could he have done?
    He would set a record of 18 podiums in a year. Not just that but only 1st and 2nd places which make that record even more special.

    Of the few occasions he didn’t finish top2 only Monza was on him. Baku, Hungary and Silverstone were the other occasions.

    Super consistent season.
    In a car that was better in the 1st race, on par with Merc for the next 10races and was worse in last 10 races (except Mexico)
    Just wow.

    But kuddos to Lewis to deliver in these last 4 races.

    1. I wouldn’t say monza was on verstappen btw: what triggered the crash? A super slow pit stop, give him a normal pit stop and he ends second imo, ricciardo was impressive that weekend and he wasn’t gonna be passed in the pits, nor on track.

      1. But would he have kept 2nd though?

  6. The season consists of all the races. Max was ahead but it is now tied and to be determined this weekend. Not to be too punny but the race isn’t over until the results of the final race.

    1. @jimfromus but this has happened many years throughout F1 history. At the end of the year (except for 1988), the driver with more points wins the championship. It doesn’t matter if they’ve had an amazing first half of the season, then clinged to the lead with good results until the last race (Button 2009 comes to mind) or if the first half of the season has been mixed but the last few races are spot on (Vettel 2012).

      I find it rather odd that everyone’s praising a qualy lap that ended with Max crashing against the wall. Yeah, it was a great lap until that time, but it wasn’t even a complete lap because he crashed in the last corner. Same thing with the championship, it really doesn’t matter if you’ve done a great job throughout the season if you lose the championship in the last race.

  7. I think Alonso is right here. Max has been the better driver up to Mexico.

    RB have had the faster car all season and should have wrapped up both drivers and constructors already. They have not because the car has been designed for one driver that is Max and Perez has underperformed really in Q and majority of races.

    Ham has been on and off all season, brilliant in Bahrain, Spain , Portugal, Silverstone , and then mega at the last 3. Normally Ham is on it from Summer but Merc have only finally got going since Turkey.

    1. RB have had the faster car all season

      Obviously not.

  8. It’s another stab at Lewis, it’s always down to the car when he wins. With Max it’s always he’s the best driver. Well if Max fails to win the DWT this year he may have to wait a long time because any of the top five team’s from this year could find the holy grail in next year’s new formula and it might not be Red Bull.

    1. Going into an aero-heavy era, he won’t have to wait a long time. Red Bull will do well, I am not worried for Max, if he doesn’t win it this year my money is on the next year, and the following…

    2. Not always but just this year

    3. Well, seeing aero has been the biggest strength of Red Bull for years, I would be very surprised if Red Bull doesn’t build a very good car next year.
      Yes, it is possible one of the other teams finds a legal loophole in the regulations to produce a special car (similar to DAS last year), but it is not so likely.

  9. Love to see the support of Alonso to both contenders. Even tough his relation with Lewis is becoming less he still respects the man. And it’s true, they are so fast compared to their teammates that I would love to see both Max and Lewis in the same team.
    Last few races Max is over driving the Redbull to match Lewis car. That’s in my opinion to see in both Brazil and Jeddah were the back end of the Redbull is sliding in the corner which results in both 2 races forcing Lewis of track. With this I think Max will get a handful to win the race. Lets hope so because I think it’s good for the sport to have an other winner.

    1. I don’t want to see them as teammates. What we’re really missing in F1 is Alonso, Leclerc, Lando, Ricciardo, and probably Sainz and Russell, with cars that can fight for wins fairly regularly. I don’t believe for a second that Max and Lewis are just in a completely different league to at least the likes of Leclerc and Alonso. Let’s hope 2022 gives us more proper fights between so many F1 greats converging right now. It’s really amazing how much talent is on the grid.

      1. I would sign for that scenario to ajpennypacker. With those guys mixed up in the fight it would make it even more interesting. Let’s hope indeed for a great season next year. I have my fingers crossed.

  10. I feel sorry for all of Mercedes designers, engineers and technicians.

    Who reads guys like Horner and Alonso talking may very well believe F1 uses some sort of lottery to distribute the models.

    They act like Mercedes is the best just because yes and not because they again did a better planing and development throughout the season.

    By the way, Red Bull only had to change engines once all year. That counts for better reliability or it only counts when It favors Mercedes?

    1. feel sorry? The Mercedes car and operation is widely recognized and credited with gifting Hamilton at least 6 of his 7 WDCs. I’ve never heard anyone undermine what Mercedes has achieved. If anything, it’s Hamilton fans that seek to undermine it because the reality of a historically dominant car adds unwanted context to the 2014,2015, 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020 championships.

      Yes, reliability matters. We learned that with Alonso and Ferrari in 2012, challenging a superior Red Bull. I’m not saying this Mercedes is as far from RBR as Red Bull was from Ferrari in 2012. But the gap is there. In the end it was speed and not reliability that won that championship.

      1. Rubbish. 2017, 18 and 19 (until we realised that Ferrari might have been a bit naughty!!) were not dominant Mercedes walkovers.

        The Max of today, would have won all those three championships in a Ferrari, as would Lewis.

        You were correct earlier, as I’m a Hamilton fan who can respect other drivers. Kindly do the same in reverse and stop this nonsense that Lewis has had it all his own way since 2013.

        Most people see Hamilton’s 2018 as one of the finest performance of any in history – let’s give some respect where it’s due.

        1. @banbrorace Come on mate. 2017 and 2018 were competitive years in the first 10 races. Hamilton was brilliant. But you don’t win a championship 3 races early and win more races than the rest of the field combined without a dominant machine. No matter how brilliant.

          The Merc was superior in speed, but also crucially in reliability. By some margin too. 2018 was won by 88 points mate.

          Of course, 2017 and 2018 were in a different category as they had the semblance of a proper battle for much of the year. But it’s silly to not acknowledge how vastly superior the Merc was.

          2019 I will not give you though. That wasn’t competitive. Hamilton beat the next non Mercedes car by 135 points and by the way it wasn’t a Ferrari. Leclerc was beaten by 149 points. Lewis had no WDC competition that year. Nobody else had a chance. Ferrari had good quali pace. It was akin to Mercedes in 2013. A good Saturday car.

          1. @ajpennypacker Are you new to this site?

            There are some fact thats one cant dispute on here. One such facts are that Ferrari had the fastest car in 17, 18 and 19.

            ‘There is learning, there is understanding, and there is acceptance” – O’Brien


          2. Sure! And two champions couldn’t beat hammy! Ja!

  11. F1oSaurus (@)
    9th December 2021, 20:15

    Verstappen had the fastest car in the majority of races but he dropped the ball way too many times in Q3. Imola, Portimao, and Saudi Arabia being the most glaring examples where he couldn’t keep the car on track. But also Spain, Silverstone, Mexico, Hungary, Turkey where he had the faster car and then suddenly he can’t get it together in quali. Or Monaco and Baku (and also Spain) where he messes up the single run that mattered and therefore did not get a good lap in at the right time.

    Verstappen is lucky that his car is usually also faster in race trim (even more so than during quali) so in the end I guess it doesn’t matter that much, but the boasting about him getting pole and wining races easy when he got the fastest car still clearly does not jive with reality. Same as before when he dropped so many Monaco, Mexico and Malaysia quali’s in the past too.

    When people blame Hamilton for a button placement issue on his steering wheel in Baku then why not blame Verstappen for cheating on too low running tyre pressures and in doing so bursting a tyre in Baku? Or the ridiculously aggressive defense in Silverstone instead of taking the loss when beaten to a corner and slotting behind (you know like Hamilton has been doing and scoring wins or at least P2 with).

    1. At silvestone ham put the car on the racing line, he was never in the front he’d just back off, as others did , he got away as he was at home

  12. I agree with alonso, mercedes deserves the constructor’s title (but I wouldn’t mind if red bull won it since they brought much more of a challenge than ferrari did, remember ferrari never got into the last round with a chance to win) for having a slightly better car across the season and a better number 2, hamilton wasn’t on it for many races this season, verstappen was more consistent, he could’ve been in a much better position if he played it safer in silverstone, but still hamilton was deemed at fault for that collision, and I don’t think the last few races make hamilton better this year, he had such a straight line speed advantage verstappen had to go to the limits of the rules to try and keep him behind; hopefully the last race is a bit more evenly matched car-wise but mercedes has been excellent the last few races.

  13. As always, Fernando is right. Max is not only driving better than anyone else: he turned this season into a great show in a very Netflix way. Even his erratically shenanigans, brings fuel to the season, to the show and adds layers of drama that some missed those last years. And I love that!

    2021 is really not Lewis’ best season. He knows Max well, but I guess he underestimated Red Bull force (or maybe overestimated Mercedes ability to react?) and drove a subpar season, full of mistakes and some poor performances.

    He just woke up on those last four races, but I suspect that is not enough to stop Max to win in the end.

    1. So Hamilton might have “woke up” for the last fifth of the season, but we’ll underplay that – because it doesn’t suit your narrative.

      Oh and let’s forget Bahrain plus Spain and Portugal

      I tell you what let’s forget about the start of the season and the end and just concentrate on the middle – because then you have a point.

      Oh! You’ve just done that

      1. Is not that he woke up, he sat again at the simulator as others do! Got back to work in others words.

    2. @becken-lima The assessment is fair. But I doubt he underestimated Verstappen or Red Bull. His own explanation is the lingering effects of Covid-19 on his general fitness and stamina. He said he only really felt back to normal energy levels from Brazil on. That seems plausible by the performances.

      1. It’s a great point.

        I too wondered about long Covid on sportsmen, where instinct and nerve is just as important as anything else.

      2. Good point, David! I really didn’t take into account the covid-19 factor.

  14. If we ignore his appalling driving standards in Brazil and especially Saudi, Verstappen maximized what his car offered most of the time, with Bahrain being the exception. The key words are what car offered. But the way it’s being protrayed this season is that he put Red Bull in places where the car doesn’t belong.

    I cannot think of any race this year where Red Bull was decisively slower than Mercs and Verstappen put the car ahead of Mercs with just his sheer racing skills. So, where does this Max deserves to win this year nonsense is coming from? What am I missing?

    1. And to add when Lewis was bad (e.g. Monaco) he was just that. But when Verstappen is bad it’s on another level (again Brazil and Jeddah). If Lewis was as race-craft-challenged as Verstappen we’d have at least 4 more crashes between them this season.

    2. In my opinion it comes from:

      – Imola red flag helped Lewis undo his big mistake.
      – Baku tire failure caused not extending the lead for Max.
      – Big hit in Hungary
      – Great driving in USA and Mexico even when Mercedes was faster pace wise.

      Mercedes made also a lot mistakes in strategy like Hungary and maybe also the French GP.
      But most will come from the fact that Mercedes is winning 7 years in row easily with their rocket engine, and now finally they have to work for their money.

      1. Great driving in USA and Mexico even when Mercedes was faster pace wise

        You lost all the credibility with that one line. Sorry, I can’t take you seriously after that.

        1. Just an opinion. But if you judge me so quickly, good for you. Next time I know I don’t need to reply serious anymore on your comments.

          1. Hey, please do respond @ruben :-). But c’mon, saying Red Bull were slower in Mexico is verifiably false.

          2. @rockgod
            I messed up, you’re correct, Mexico was indeed good for Red Bull ;-)

    3. I think what you are missing was watching the races this season. Keep on keeping on!

      1. Yeah, I wish I missed the Brazil and Jeddah races. I at least had a grudging respect for Verstappen before. Now he’s shown he’s just a petulant kid who doesn’t know difference between an F1 race and an online lobby.

        1. He demonstrated he can place the car wherever he wants at the millimeter

          1. Certainly not within the millimeter of the whiteline!

    4. I don’t think anyone is suggesting Max is putting the car in places it doesn’t belong. But he’s maximised just about every opportunity and has been rather unlucky.

      – Baku was fairly certain win -25 pts
      – Hungary was a certain podium but got wiped out by Bottas. Also cost him an PU -15 pts (conservatively assuming he wouldn’t have gone better than 3rd)
      – Hamilton luckying into red flags that allowed him to undo his mistakes in Imola (18 pts) and Silverstone (25 pts)

      That alone is a 58 point net swing (considering Max won Imola (25 points) but was out in Silverstone -25 pts).

      We could also consider the Sochi chaotic race that allowed Max to recover a bunch of positions, but that same luck favoured Hamilton, gifting him the win from Lando. Net gain for Max there is probably 10 points.

      But I imagine you don’t care about any of those facts.

      1. Sigh. It’s about how he’s driving “above” everyone else on the grid. What does him getting hit by Bottas has anything to do with it? How about him losing his ability to keep the car on track as soon as the Mercs are faster in the later tracks? The pattern is he tries to crash out whenever he sees that Lewis is faster than him. May be you don’t want these facts get in your way.

        1. If he wouldn’t have lost those points early in the season, he wouldn’t have had to race Lewis in the later races. He could just gotten second each time.
          Not sure he wouldn’t have raced Lewis though, killer instincts and such…

        2. @rockgod

          The pattern is he tries to crash out whenever he sees that Lewis is faster than him.

          Pushing someone out and crashing out are not the same thing.

          May be you don’t want these facts get in your way.

          It’s not a fact, just bias on your part. Did you also accuse Lewis of trying to crash out Max when he pushed him out at Jeddah?

          1. Pushing someone out and crashing out are not the same thing.

            Only because Lewis takes evasive actions. Twice he didn’t (Silverstone and Monza) and they came together. Also, drivers push others while staying on track and that’s been penalized numerous times. What Verstappen does is something else altogether.

            It’s not a fact, just bias on your part. Did you also accuse Lewis of trying to crash out Max when he pushed him out at Jeddah?

            It’s obvious you dislike Lewis but you gotta admit that when he pushed he at least kept the car on track unlike Verstappen.

    5. @rockgod

      I think that the Red Bull is less stable, requiring more skill to drive on the limit. Of course, at the end of the day the car cannot go faster than it’s ability, but I do think that in qualy, the gap to what a good driver could achieve in the same car is bigger than for Lewis.

      But as the others noted, if you were to remove all the impact of bad luck & fouls/mistakes by others, Max would be the champion now. His immense number of top-2 placings also reflect a champion-level consistency.

      But given your responses to others, you seem to deeply dislike Max and rationalize every argument in his favor away, so this seems rather pointless.

      1. I think that the Red Bull is less stable, requiring more skill to drive on the limit.

        Any source on this please @aapje? If we don’t have it then I can say the same thing about Mercs needing extra-ordinary skills to drive. See, it cuts both ways.

        you seem to deeply dislike Max

        There is no denying that I am a Lewis fan. I used to respect Verstappen even though he disguises questionable driving as “hard racing” and thought whoever comes out at top is a deserved champion. But all that changed with Brazil turn 4 and Jeddah. He made it obivious that he’s just a dirty entitled driver with no concern for rules and I don’t want that behavior rewarded with a championship.

        In his 7 years in F1 even you have to admit he has made at least a few mistakes. Did you ever hear him admit to even one of those?

  15. What I wonder if Hamilton didn’t avoid contact as much as he has done this season would we all be saying this? ( About Max)

    Max has been more consistent, basically doing what Hamilton has been doing for quite sometime.

    Rbr package for me is the car of the season (it literally has been good everywhere) Mercs I feel have been fighting the car and now it’s only coming good, like really good.

    If Max wins I hope he reflects on this season and improves his race craft and matures significantly. At some point Hamilton will leave and I don’t think the likes of Russell, Norris, etc won’t be as forgiving as Hamilton.

    1. Were you saying the same about Lewis when he backed out of challenging Max at Texas 2018?

      If Max had the sense to “avoid contact” at Silverstone, he could have a 33 point lead instead of the current zero.

      Give us the benefit of a driver always thinking that they have a right to have the corner. Explain how this philosophy worked for Hamilton in 2011.

      You seem to mistake recklessness for skill. Max’s aggression policy, albeit entertaining, actually has ended up costing him points.

      If Max loses this, only a change in his behaviour will get him another chance at actually winning.

      1. At silvestone ham put the car on the racing line, he wasn’t penalized just because was at home

        1. I wonder what the comments from Hamilton fans would be if Silverstone would be the last race and the roles are reversed: Max punts off Lewis, get meaningless penalty, and goes on to win the race (and thus championship)?
          Demand immediate DSQ?
          FIA = Red Bull Assistance?

          But yeah, it’s all hypothetical.

  16. Can we stop referring to ‘that lap’ as a sign of Max’s greatness, HE CRASHED! That’s a terrible lap!

    1. Agreed, not without a sense of irony for him to use a failure as a point to define Max’s abilities.

  17. Embarrassing words from Alonso still Bitter that a rookie and Ron Dennis’s Protege destroyed him in his first season.

    great lap?! almost anyone here could drive an ‘almost’ amazing lap and crash into a wall, why does fernando need to stir reddit tier drama like this?

    Narcissistic Alonso is past his peak, a washed up driver in his 40’s hording a seat. Maybe he should consider stepping aside and giving Oscar Piastri the Alpine seat? Obviously not because he must have some sort of blackmail on the enstone team so virtually guaranteed a seat for life(!)

    1. Sure! Almost peaking the most overtakes and starts! Funny

  18. I think Lewis is not going to extremes because he is behind and doesnt need to crash.
    He has been coming from behind all season long. A crash for Mercedes is a loss of the titles.
    Max has nothing to lose neither does Redbull, if they crash they finish second. If it pays they win.
    That is the philosophy behind the differing driving style.

  19. Up until the last Grand Prix I was of the opinion either driver were worthy winners. But after Verstappen’s display last week he has shown that he is not relying on skill but brute force to win. This is not wrestling, good luck to Hamilton.

  20. I agree that on pure pace, that is in qualifying, Max is driving above all else and Alonso is right. But when it comes to the race he has to resort to poor racing to be able to compete with the Mercedes.

    I’m 100% certain if Alonso was on the receiving end of the moves he would be outraged.

    1. Exactly.
      Many drivers are enjoying the show because they are not the ones being molested on the race track by Max.
      They think this is a Max vs Hamilton issue and not accepting it is a simple driving or racing etiquette situation.
      Luckily a new season is soon upon us, let the party begin and the singing.

    2. But then again @skipgamer, Verstappen didn’t get the lap done in Saudi Arabia, just as earlier in the year, while looking great for pole he has often missed out by making a mistake (going all out?), which Hamilton has rarely done this year. Sure at that point the Red Bull was starting better and usually had the better race pace/tyre management so he made up for it in races well, but that doesn’t change that he could have had quite a few more poles than he already has.

  21. Kimberley Barrass
    9th December 2021, 23:14

    I’m a huge Hamilton fan (I have a 44 tattoo on my wish list for goodness sake!) – But I agree with Alonsos assessment here.. – Both are on generally on another level compared to their teammates (the most useful barometer generally) – but I disagree with thinking that anyone deserves the win.. whoever wins at the end of the year has won. It’s been the first year in donkeys that I’ve shouted at the telly when watching an F1 race – and the turnaround over the least three races have really, thoroughly engaged me. And I’m hugely, hugely looking forward to the last race – something I also haven’t done for years..!

    As far as I’m concerned the fans have already won!

  22. No mistakes? #44?? Alonso, what were you drinking???

  23. Fernando is correct here.

    Could Max have wrapped up the title now? Or be going into Abu Dhabi with a healthy lead? For sure. However, we forget that he is 23 years old, and he has not been in a title fight before. He was always going to be aggressive, and he was always going to make mistakes.

    My thirty-eight year old self disagrees with this approach, but my 18 year old self eggs him on. When Juan Montoya came to F1 twenty years, I immediately became a huge fan, he is my all time favourite. As a relatively new F1 fan at the time, in the few years preceding 2001, there were no drivers who drove with Montoya’s level of aggression. People used to say Villenueve was aggressive, lets me honest, he had nothing on JPM. However, if I were my 38 year old self back in 2001, as much as I would have appreciated his skill, I would have not been a fan of his all or nothing approach.

    Point I’m making is, age plays a factor. Someone like Alain Prost, who probably playing the percentages from the time he started to walk, is a rarity. This is possibly why, in the past, the average age of an F1 rookie was a lot higher. Lewis of 10 years ago not the Lewis of today, same goes for 2006 spec Fernando. Drivers learn and they grow.

    If Verstappen loses this championship, he will only have himself to blame, but he will learn from this and become better.

    To borrow a quote from Joe Mourinho “the team with the most points at the end of the season is the best team”. I think the same applies here.

    1. I do believe there’s a large “maturity” factor at play. I would forgive Max if this were his 2nd season in F1. Lewis showed in 2007 he was talent but lacked maturity; 2008 and onward that was corrected. If we’re talking age specifically (not number of seasons in F1) Max is 24 but I would argue is driving with the “talent and immaturity” of Lewis at 22 (in 2007). If Max doesn’t win this title he has the opportunity to learn from it and maybe change his approach. Playing the percentages, like Prost, is how you win multiple championships. I can see Max winning multiple championships just by changing his attitude and playing the percentage game.

  24. Lewis started this year with a car that was heavily altered by way of the fia rule change. This definitely slowed the mercs and lewis down. The team took along time to come to grips with the aero change and setup. Lewis also was ovrrcoming the after effects of covid. I will put the above reasons dpwn to why Lewis was making soo many mistakes and driving below his usual standard. Roll in 2nd half and Lewis has upped his performance together with mercs understanding their car more which brought about more performance. Lewis driving intelligence is way higher than crashtappens. Lewis does not try to crash out his opponents with the exception of silverstone where it was not intentional though still he caused an accident. I dont agree with Alonso. Redbull clearly set up their car for qualifying and max binned it. How is that max driving superbly???

  25. I think the whole “who deserves” thing is a bit childish, however, if really pushed on it I would have agreed with Alonso for most of the year but since Brazil I would say the balance has swung to Lewis. Being a champion isn’t just about being the fastest.

    1. Well said sir

  26. Poor Alonso lol
    2007 so hard to get over, aye?

  27. one thing Alonso is forgetting is that the Jeddah magic lap in quali was eventually bottled by Max, meaning yes he was flying but he went over the limit of the car and crashed. So overall it was not good driving at the end, as the result was 3rd when he should have been on pole. I remember Hamilton’s lap in Singapore in 2018, was on a similar lap and did not made a mistake, taking pole with an inferior car that day. That is the difference I guess.

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