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Lewis Hamilton wrote off his chances of winning this year’s World Championship after just a handful of races, but Karun Chandhok has hinted the Brit may never win an F1 title again due to Max Verstappen. Last year’s title fight between Hamilton and Verstappen will go down as one of the greatest and most dramatic in F1 history.
Hamilton had his record eighth title snatched away from him after a controversial decision from former FIA race director Michael Masi. To add further insult to injury, Mercedes entered the new season well off the pace compared to Red Bull and Ferrari.
Had Ferrari not suffered technical and individual errors, Charles Leclerc would likely be leading the Driver’s Standings right now. But Verstappen heads into the Belgian Grand Prix this weekend holding a commanding lead over Leclerc with Hamilton way down on his rival.
The British racing superstar is 112 points adrift of Verstappen and is yet to win a single race this year. While still mathematically possible, it would take a drastic turn of events for Hamilton to overhaul that gap.
Hamilton still has at least one more year left in F1 with Mercedes though and will likely be even more determined to push for that elusive eighth title next season. However, Verstappen’s calm and collected manner this season is making Chandhok doubt whether anybody can beat the Dutchman for many years to come.
“The Dutchman came into this season with the huge legion of Hamilton fans calling him an unworthy world champion, but he’s kept his head down, avoided the distractions and has built a campaign around supreme consistency and speed,” he wrote for Sky Sports.
“Eight wins from the first 13 races has been brilliant in itself, but the manner in which Max has delivered some of those wins by calmly picking his moments to overtake and seize opportunities is a clear indication of a driver who has added title-battling experience to the already prodigious amount of god-given talent.
“There’s seemingly no weakness now, which is ominous for the opposition, not just this year but in the future too.” Red Bull also hold a commanding lead in the Constructors’ Championship with Sergio Perez doing his job to keep Ferrari and Mercedes at bay.
But Mercedes showed that they were closing the gap heading into the summer break with back-to-back podium finishes for both their drivers in France and Hungary. All eyes will be on Mercedes this weekend for the race at Spa and whether Hamilton and George Russell can finally compete with their rivals for a race win.
Hamilton has won four races at the Belgian Grand Prix and a victory this weekend would move him level with Ayton Senna. No F1 driver has won more races at Spa than Michael Schumacher, who took the chequered flag a record six times.
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