Martin Brundle warned Max Verstappen that opponent Lewis Hamilton still not ready to hand over his Formula One baton as the seven-time world champion shows no signs of giving up in his battle for a record eighth crown.
Verstappen holds a slim lead with just eight points with two races to go and there was little division of the main characters on the first day of practice at the opening ceremony Saudi Arabia grand opening
Hamilton set the pace in the first set, edging out Verstappen’s Red Bull by 0.056 seconds and followed by the fastest in the second set, with Verstappen down to fourth as a massive crash hit Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari Finish training early.
The pace in Hamilton’s Mercedes once again shows he is ready to fight, having won the last two races to reduce the gap in the drivers’ standings and raise hopes of overshadowing Michael Schumacher. to become the only eight-time F1 champion.
Meanwhile, Verstappen is aiming for a first crown but Brundle insists the Dutchman should not see any potential title win as an end to Hamilton’s dominance.
When asked if the current fight has a sense of the guardian’s change to it, expert Sky Brundle replied: “I do – but a guard doesn’t want to move right?
“Lewis is 37 years old in January and he has all the glory, all the money. I think I described it as a treasure trove of loot he must have had by now – isn’t it a room, or a cupboard?
“He still seems to have all the drive and work ethic, pace and determination I’ve ever seen him have.”
Brundle also turned to football when asked if he wanted to be the hunter or the hunted in the narrow title fight.
“I’d rather have speed than points right now,” he said.
“A good football analogy – you want the points rather than the games in hand.
“I think, if Lewis continues at that knots and if Valtteri (Bottas) can come in and have one of his best days, who knows?
“One mistake here and Max is world champion, one go wrong for Lewis… because it won’t be difficult here, that’s for sure.”
This is the first day a Formula One car has driven around the Jeddah Corniche track in earnest – although Brundle himself took an old version for a spin on Thursday night – with Leclerc slamming into the barrier. in turn 22 showed no room for error on the fastest street in the sport.
“I think there are some areas you need to respect,” Brundle said of the latest race to host F1.
“It comes to you thick and fast. You seem to be constantly walking around a blind wall. There are some angles that you don’t want to run into – 22 and 23 will be the major angles that are few to say very small.
“In places it’s sketchy, dangerous, I think it’s too strong of a word, but certainly sketchy.
“This place will bite. In a way this is brilliant at the end of the season but if I were Red Bull and Mercedes I would think: ‘I don’t need more danger in this place right now’.
“We wanted all the danger and the unexpected and I think that’s what made it such a great year – we took that danger this year.
“I think that’s what F1 needs to be honest. Another win for Lewis or Mercedes could make everyone yawn before half the season. “
https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/motor-racing/formula1/martin-brundle-lewis-hamilton-max-verstappen-saudi-arabian-grand-prix-b1969529.html Martin Brundle: Lewis Hamilton is not ready to give the baton to Max Verstappen