Who every F1 driver is backing in Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen fight
F1 preview: Abu Dhabi run-through as Verstappen and Hamilton go head-to-head
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Either Max Verstappen or Lewis Hamilton will be crowned F1 champion in Abu Dhabi this weekend – but fellow drivers are split as to which one of the two will prevail. An epic title race will culminate with the pair heading into Sunday’s Grand Prix at the Yas Marina level on points, although it is the Dutchman who will start on pole.
He also holds the advantage of having more race wins than his British rival, meaning it is the Red Bull driver who will be crowned the champion should both drivers fail to finish.
Opinion remains divided amongst supporters and F1 pundits as to who will be crowned champion tomorrow night, and predictions from those who will be sharing the track with the two stars in the season finale have proved anything but unanimous.
The @wtf1official Twitter account posted the results of a survey where every 15 drivers were asked who they were backing with the title, with results slightly favouring Verstappen as he seeks his maiden championship.
He was tipped by four drivers, with only three opting for Hamilton, but perhaps most significantly the remaining eight drivers declared themselves ‘on the fence’.
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Unsurprisingly, teammate Sergio Perez went for Verstappen, as did Yuki Tsunoda, Sebastian Vettel, and Hamilton’s old foe, Fernando Alonso.
Like Perez, Valtteri Bottas inevitably backed partner Hamilton, along with George Russell and Esteban Ocon.
However, both lists were dwarfed by the amount who couldn’t pick a winner – with Lando Norris, who shares a good relationship with both, declining to back either of his friends.
Daniel Ricciardo, Mick Schumacher, Lance Stroll, Antonio Giovinazzi, Nicholas Latifi, Carlo Sainz, and Nikita Mazepin also stayed ‘on the fence’.
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The reasoning given by some drivers was far from conclusive however, with Vettel admitting his choice was made out of loyalty to German legend Michael Schumacher.
“Lewis can win one more, two more, three more, five more championships, it doesn’t change anything for me, and I get along with Lewis, so probably the gut says I want Max to win just to keep Michael’s record alive,” he told wtf1.com.
Sainz meanwhile, said he wasn’t going to pick sides for fear of a backlash on social media.
“I am not going to take a stand because I see social media so polarised and so critical. Honestly, I am not enjoying it that much. I prefer to enjoy the battle on track. Let the best man win,” he said.
In Saturday’s qualifying, Verstappen was 0.371 seconds faster than Hamilton after a brilliant first lap in Q3.
And tomorrow’s race will be yet more intriguing given both drivers will be adopting different strategies.
Verstappen will start the race on soft tyres, with Hamilton on mediums.
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