Max Verstappen splits F1 fans as Charles Leclerc sits 19 points clear at top of standings

Brundle mistakes basketball star for NFL player in Miami GP gaffe

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Formula One fans appear to be divided over whether Max Verstappen will pip Charles Leclerc to Drivers’ Championship glory at the end of the season, with Express Sport readers backing the Dutchman to do the business but only by a fine margin. Only 55.9 per cent of readers believe that Verstappen will be able to secure another title in 2022 after his impressive victory at last weekend’s inaugural Miami Grand Prix.

However, 44.1 per cent of readers are expecting him to miss out at the expense of Leclerc or another driver once all has been said and done at the end of the year. The Ferrari man has enjoyed an impressive campaign to date and currently leads the Drivers’ Championship standings by a margin of 19 points but has been forced to play second fiddle to Verstappen in each of the last two Grands Prix.

It remains to be seen whether Verstappen will be able to move ahead of Leclerc as he looks to claw back his points deficit over the coming weeks and months. The Red Bull man has been plagued by reliability issues at times but has won every race he has finished in 2022 and will be looking to maintain his positive momentum at the next time of asking in Spain.

Meanwhile, a massive 69.3 per cent of fans are backing George Russell to finish the season with a greater points total than Lewis Hamilton after his latest showing in Miami. The latter managed to qualify six places above his Mercedes team-mate but ended up finishing one place below the 24-year-old, who reaped the rewards of a late safety car after a long stint on hard tyres to make his way up the order before crossing the line in fifth.

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30.7 per cent believe that Hamilton will eventually turn things around, though, by overtaking Russell in the Drivers’ Championship standings before the end of the campaign. The 37-year-old managed to secure a podium finish at the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix but has since failed to replicate the achievement due to a combination of bad luck and Mercedes’ early lack of outright pace.

Hamilton was critical of his team’s strategy in Miami after he was repeatedly asked to make crucial decisions from the cockpit before insisting via team radio that he was not in a position to do so while behind the wheel. However, 51.1 per cent of readers believe that Hamilton was wrong to fire back at his Mercedes colleagues in this way, with 48.9 per cent holding the opposite view.

Meanwhile, the pre-race build-up in Miami was dominated by Martin Brundle’s chaotic grid walk on Sky Sports F1, with plenty of strange and funny clips going viral in the immediate aftermath of the segment. He mistakenly identified NBA prospect Paolo Banchero as Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes before he was unceremoniously blanked by David Beckham and Serena Williams in the minutes before the start of the race.

A significant number of fans from around the world were hugely entertained by Brundle’s grid walk, which was being simultaneously broadcast on US television. However, 63 per cent of readers believe that it failed to mark the best edition of the segment to have ever been aired, although 37 per cent were adamant that it was indeed the greatest of all time.


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